Netflix uses a somewhat relaxed/convenient system for calculating viewership numbers for its original movies and programs. One view on the OTT platform is defined as watching two minutes of a show or movie. We can all think of at least five shows or films that we’ve abandoned after only a few minutes, if not an hour, of viewing them. And, as we all know, it does not equate to having “seen” the show or movie. Netflix, on the other hand, disagrees.
This renders Netflix’s data “less useful,” which explains why the company has now revealed total viewership hours for its top 10 original series and films, demonstrating that most users watch all the way to the end rather than just two minutes. Popular titles such as Stranger Things, Money Heist, The Witcher, and others are included.
Bridgerton topped the total viewership list with 625 million hours of viewing in the first four weeks after release, according to Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos. They spoke at Vox Media’s Code Conference in Los Angeles on Monday. According to Netflix, 82 million households saw Bridgerton in the first 28 days, averaging 7 hours and 27 minutes each episode. That’s just a smidgeon under the entire season’s runtime! Bridgerton Season 1 lasted a total of 8 hours and 10 minutes.
Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, was the most popular Netflix original film in the first 28 days, with 282 million hours watched. Within the first four weeks, 89 million Netflix subscribers watched Bird Box, and the average viewing time was 3 hours and 10 minutes, far longer than the 2 hours and 4-minute runtime. This points to a high rate of return visitors. Extraction, starring Chris Hemsworth, was the most-watched film with 99 million homes and 231 million hours. That’s 2 hours and 20 minutes on average, slightly longer than the 1 hour and 57-minute runtime.
Both Money Heist season 4 (619 million hours) and Stranger Things 3 had similar results (582 million hours). Money Heist Season 4 was just 6 hours and 38 minutes long, even though the hit Spanish series was seen by 65 million Netflix subscribers in the first 28 days. Stranger Things 3 lasted 8 and 41 minutes on average, whereas the third season lasted 7 and 29 minutes. The Witcher, starring Henry Cavill, had a somewhat lower average audience than its first season.
Here’s the complete list of Netflix’s top 10 most-watched series and movies, in the first four weeks after release, by viewership hours:
Netflix top 10 most-watched series
1. Bridgerton season 1, 625 million
2. Money Heist season 4, 619 million
3. Stranger Things 3, 582 million
4. The Witcher season 1, 541 million
5. 13 Reasons Why season 2, 496 million
6. 13 Reasons Why season 1, 476 million
7. You season 2, 457 million
8. Stranger Things 2, 427 million
9. Money Heist season 3, 426 million
10. Ginny & Georgia season 1, 381 million
Netflix top 10 most-watched movies
1. Bird Box, 282 million
2. Extraction, 231 million
3. The Irishman, 215 million
4. The Kissing Booth 2, 209 million
5. 6 Underground, 205 million
6. Spenser Confidential, 197 million
7. Enola Holmes, 190 million
8. Army of the Dead, 187 million
9. The Old Guard, 186 million
10. Murder Mystery, 170 million