Netflix: Users Spent 812 Million Hours Watching “The Night Agent”

For the first time, Netflix has unveiled viewer data for 99% of its catalog. The global audience dedicated 812 million hours to watching “The Night Agent,” marking this political thriller as the most-watched show in the first half of the year.

While the streaming giant faced criticism for its lack of transparency regarding content performance, this critique was at the core of the Hollywood strikes that disrupted the film and TV industry for months. Actors and writers pushed for higher royalties for successful shows on streaming platforms.

During a media conference call, co-chief executive Ted Sarandos acknowledged that the absence of transparency about show popularity eroded trust within the creator community. Netflix had initially kept viewer data private to experiment without revealing crucial information to potential rivals during its business development phase.

“This is a significant stride for Netflix and our industry,” the company stated in a blog post. “We believe the viewing information in this report… will offer creators and our industry deeper insights into our audiences and their preferences.”

Hollywood traditionally relies on Nielsen’s audience data firm for viewing figures in broadcast and cable television, released annually. The “What We Watched” report, ranking 18,000 titles by hours viewed from January to June, will now be issued every six months, covering nearly 100 billion viewing hours.

Apart from “The Night Agent,” notable titles on the list included “Ginny and Georgia,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” and “The Office.” Jennifer Lopez’s “The Mother” claimed the top spot among movies, with over 249 million viewing hours.

Around a third of the viewing comprised non-English content, indicating sustained interest in older titles. Netflix emphasized that success isn’t solely determined by hours viewed; it’s also about captivating the audience and the audience’s size concerning a title’s economics.

Netflix, with almost 250 million global subscribers, remains the largest streaming service globally. Since 2021, it has regularly released Top 10 and Most Popular lists showcasing the most-watched English and non-English movies and TV shows.

The report revealed that 55% of Netflix viewing stemmed from original content, with the remaining 45% from licensed titles, as per Sarandos. The streaming platform introduced a separate ad-supported service last year, demanding increased transparency due to advertiser interest in content popularity.