Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer of Netflix, has revealed what he called “the most comprehensive look yet” at the streamer’s 10 best TV shows and movies.
Sarandos, during an appearance at Vox Media’s Code conference at the Beverly Hilton, shared two slides. One showed the most popular Netflix shows based on its owner metric of the number of accounts that selected a given title in the first 28 days of its release (and aired for at least 2 minutes). One second showed the total time spent viewing in hours during the initial 28-day window – engagement data that Netflix had not previously released.
“We are trying to be more transparent with talent, with the market,” Sarandos said. Netflix’s streaming data, he admitted, is “a big black box, most of the time.”
Season 1 of Shonda Rhimes’ “Bridgerton” ranked as # 1 series based on Netflix household count and time spent watching (in the initial four week release), while “Ripping” was the most watched movie in terms of homes. and “Bird Box” was the most viewed movie in terms of hours.
That said, Sarandos said the top-tier Korean survival drama “Squid Game,” which premiered on September 17, was set to become the most popular Netflix show of all time and currently ranks as the most popular Netflix show of all time. world’s No. 1 show on the service. “We didn’t see that coming, in terms of global popularity,” Sarandos said.
Here are the slides Sarandos presented at Code Conference, which are based on Netflix’s own internal monitoring:
Rankings by number of households sampling a title (first 28 days of release)
Rankings by overall viewing time (first 28 days of release)
Netflix uses data to make some business decisions, but Sarandos said that for content creation, “you have to be careful not to overuse it” because “reverse engineering a story” doesn’t work well. .
Asked about Netflix’s decision to strike global deals with Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, Sarandos said the company needs to go this route to compete with traditional entertainment companies.
“If we hadn’t made this deal with Shonda, ‘Bridgerton’ would have been somewhere else,” Sarandos said. He added: “Talent should be respected and should be compensated competitively.”
Sarandos said Netflix deleted Dave Chappelle’s “Chappelle’s Show” last year at the comedian’s request, after Chappelle explained to Sarandos that he was not being fairly paid by ViacomCBS. This led to Chappelle negotiating a new deal, after which Netflix returned the series to service. “Very few deals are as bad as this one,” Sarandos said. “I bet on our long term relationship with Dave.”
Sarandos was interviewed on stage by Vox Media’s Kara Swisher, who asked if Netflix would do it through a theater channel or a digital music company like Spotify. No, replied Sarandos: “We have always been builders rather than buyers. “
As he has said several times before, Sarandos said Netflix was not interested in live sports rights, claiming that the “next 10 billion dollars” of the company’s content spending would be better invested in TV shows and movies.
Sarandos said Netflix felt “perhaps more confident” in competing with Disney and WarnerMedia as they continue to step up their push into streaming (“our home field”). However, he added, “I have to take them seriously … I don’t want to underestimate any of them – because they have underestimated us.”
Netflix, which ended the second quarter with just over 209 million paid streaming subscribers worldwide, is really “competing with ourselves,” Sarandos commented. “The thing that concerns me over the next decade is: can we continue to run [at scale]… To me, this is more disturbing than any competition in the market.
Sarandos said Netflix has the benefit of not having to worry about how decisions about windowing theatrical movies will affect its business. “You can’t look at the world and say, ‘How can I protect my business? ” “, did he declare. Netflix’s date-to-date release strategy for films “isn’t very exotic anymore,” said Sarandos (who added with a laugh, “‘Tiger King 2’ is coming!”).
Sarandos, who started working at Netflix in 2000 as a DVD buyer, was appointed co-CEO alongside Reed Hastings in July 2020. Sarandos oversees the company’s teams around the world responsible for the acquisition and the production of all Netflix content.
Pictured Above: Regé-Jean Page, Phoebe Dynevor in “Bridgerton” Season 1