At long last, Netflix is pulling back the curtain on how well — or poorly — the majority of its original and licensed shows are performing on the streaming service.
In a new report released on Tuesday, Netflix shared the global viewership data for more than 18,000 titles on its service during the first half of 2023, which the company said represents 99% of all viewing on the streamer during that time.
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“The Night Agent,” an action thriller series based on the book of the same name, was Netflix’s most-watched hit, raking in 812.1 million hours of viewership. The series was followed by the second season of “Ginny & Georgia,” the South Korean thriller “The Glory” and the first season of “Wednesday,” all of which reached more than half a billion hours viewed.
Streaming services have long been criticized for being coy with viewership data, though Netflix has generally been more transparent than its rivals when it comes to divulging numbers. The issue of data visibility in streaming became a key negotiating point during the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
Between January and June, 55% of all Netflix viewing went toward the streamer’s original TV shows and films, while the remaining 45% came from licensed titles like “Suits,” which gained renewed popularity after it became available on the streamer earlier this year.
“In the earliest days, it really wasn’t really in our interest to be that transparent because we were building a new business and we also needed room to learn but we also didn’t want to provide roadmaps to future competitors,” Netflix Co–Chief Executive Ted Sarandos said in a call with reporters.
“The unintended consequence of not having more transparent data about our engagement was it created an atmosphere of mistrust over time with producers and creators and the press about what was happening on Netflix,” Sarados said. “So we’ve been on this continuum of opening things up.”
The Netflix engagement report is expected to be released twice a year and will include the hours viewed for all shows that were watched for at least 50,000 hours. The report includes both films and TV shows, though TV shows tend to rise in the rankings since multiple episodes result in a longer total viewing time.
The rankings closely follow Netflix’s top 10 lists, which the streamer began releasing — without viewership numbers — in early 2020 amid growing calls for increased transparency.
“This is probably more information than you need, but I think it creates a better environment for the guilds, for us, for the producers, for creators and for the press,” Sarandos said.
The full report can be downloaded here.
This story originally appeared on LATimes