Netflix has pulled back the curtain on the viewing habits of its subscribers for the first time. On Tuesday (December 12th), the streamer released a comprehensive report breaking down viewing time in the first half of 2023, revealing that Shawn Ryan’s The Night Agent was by far its most-watched title in that period.
The list includes any TV show or movie tallying over 50,000 viewing hours over the six months, covering more than 18,000 titles — or 99% of all viewing on Netflix. Leading the pack is surprise hit The Night Agent, which racked up a whopping 812.1 million hours despite its relatively late release on March 23rd.
Season 2 of Ginny & Georgia was a distant second with 665.1 million hours, followed by Korean drama The Glory (622.8 million hours), Wednesday starring Jenna Ortega (507.7 million hours), and Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (503 million hours). Impressively, the latter title didn’t premiere on Netflix until May 4th.
The most-watched films on the list are Jennifer Lopez’s The Mother (249.9 million hours), Luther: The Fallen Sun starring Idris Elba (209.7 million hours), Extraction 2 starring Chris Hemsworth (201.8 million hours), You People starring Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill (181.8 million hours), and Murder Mystery 2 starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston (173.6 million hours). Read the full report here.
Though lack of overall transparency in streaming was a big topic during the writers and actors strikes this summer, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said during a media conference call (via IndieWire) that the data release “has been on a continuum for several years. So this is not driven by anything different than that.”
Sarandos also admitted that Netflix’s lack of transparency created “an atmosphere of mistrust over time.” He continued, “So we’re here, this is probably more information than you need. But I think it creates a better environment for the guilds and for us — for the producers, for creators, and for the press.”
As Sarandos explained, it initially wasn’t in Netflix’s best interest to be transparent because the company was “building a new business, and we needed room to learn, but we also didn’t want to provide roadmaps to future competitors.”
In October, Netflix rolled out a price increase for its Basic and Premium plans just after reporting 9 million new subscribers and a revenue of $8.5 billion in its Q3 earnings, thanks in part to a crackdown on password sharing between multiple households.