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Netflix’s Data Bomb & Iger’s Hulu Wish List

For all the money that Netflix spends on content—about $17 billion this year and counting—viewership still tends to agglomerate around the broadest, most populist fare.
For all the money that Netflix spends on content—about $17 billion this year and counting—viewership still tends to agglomerate around the broadest, most populist fare. Photo: David Becker/Getty Images
Julia Alexander
December 12, 2023

Netflix just unveiled its first-ever “What We’re Watching” report, an extraordinarily detailed data dump that includes viewership figures for more than 18,000 titles between January and June of this year, accounting for about 99 percent of all viewing on the platform. To say it’s extensive is a profound understatement, and I’m still digging through all the crosstabs. (Unfortunately, the report doesn’t include the new “total completed views” metric that Netflix rolled out in June since, on an apples-to-apples basis, shows with more episodes and thus longer viewing times will naturally beat out those with equivalent engagement but shorter viewing times.) 

Nevertheless, I wanted to share my initial thoughts on the data and what they suggest about audience behavior, the company and the industry. Herewith, the top five takeaways from the Top 100 titles (based on total hours viewed, as reported in this list) on Netflix…