Every month it seems like a new movie or TV show makes its way into Netflix’s lists of their most popular titles. First unveiled in June 2021, the streamer’s four Top 10 lists – for English TV, English film, non-English TV and non-English film – are getting a shake-up and the changes mean there’s a new language series. English which will take the crown as the streamer’s most popular show.
‘Wednesday’ has now usurped the fourth season of ‘Stranger Things’ as the most watched English-language series on Netflix. That’s because with a new model for tracking the Top 10, the ranking will now be determined by the number of times a series or movie is watched rather than its raw number of hours.
Also, with the new system, titles will now be tracked over the first 91 days on the streamer, rather than the first 28 days. If that number sounds a bit arbitrary, it translates into 13 weeks, or roughly a full financial quarter.
While Netflix is now disclosing “views,” the view metric doesn’t literally translate to the number of times people turned on the show or watched it through to completion. Instead, Netflix determines a show’s viewers by dividing the raw hours viewed by its running time, in order to estimate how many people may have seen the title. Netflix has been tracking viewers of the show using this model for the past few months and, in the company’s press release on Tuesday announcing the switch, attributed the decision to a desire for better tracking of audience engagement.
“Our hope is that by being consistent and transparent about what people watch, Netflix can give everyone — consumers, creators, analysts, and press — better insights into what success in streaming looks like more generally,” a blog post says. “We will continue to share more granular and title-specific data with creators and, as always, we will continue to listen to feedback.”
The new model favors popular works with short running times and has a more measurable impact on the UK TV listing. Here’s how it looks now:
Previously, the fourth season of “Stranger Things” was Netflix’s most popular English series, with 1.35 million hours viewed in its first 28 days. On new metrics, it has slipped to second place, with ‘The Addams Family’ spin-off ‘Wednesday’ now leading the chart, with 252 million ‘views’ (1.718 million hours divided by duration of six hours and 49 minutes) compared to “Stranger Things” 140.7 million views. The “Stranger Things” season was severely handicapped by its length; episodes of Matt and Ross Duffer’s sci-fi series were heavily stretched to two hours during its fourth outing, resulting in a 13-hour season favored under the old system and slightly penalized under the new one.
Aside from the new chart topper, the English television listing has faced numerous upheavals; “The Queen’s Gambit”, previously not on the list, managed to reach number 5 under the new system, while “The Watcher” creeps up to number 10; the two shows do away with previous entries “Lucifer” Season 5 and “Inventing Anna.” ‘Dahmer’ remains narrow at No. 3, while former No. 4 ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 has dropped to No. 8; it was replaced by its first season, which moved up from number 6. “The Night Agent”, “Stranger Things” season 3 and “The Witcher” round out the new top 10.
“Wednesday” is the only new No. 1 created by the shakeup; “Red Notice” is still the UK’s No. 1, and the Norwegian film “Troll” remains the best non-English original film. Korean behemoth ‘Squid Game’ remains not only the No. 1 non-English TV show, but the No. 1 overall, with 265 million ‘views’.
New entries in the British film slate include Mark Wahlberg’s action film ‘Spenser Confidential’ (2020) and Robert Rodriguez’s family adventure ‘We Can Be Heroes’ (2020) starring Pedro Pascal. Those replace short-lived competitor ‘The Mother’ (which hasn’t quite reached the full 91 days but previously climbed to No. 6) and ‘The Unforgivable’. Check out all three lists below: