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Cinema

“Red Notice,” “Squid Game” Top Netflix Hours-Watched Metric

November 17, 2021

NEW YORK — Netflix on Tuesday rolled out a new website that measures its most-viewed films and series by the amount of hours users spend watching them. The results? People are watching “Squid Game” and the new action-adventure film “Red Notice” maybe even more than you would have guessed.

According to the streaming service’s new metric, Rawson Marshall Thurber’s “Red Notice,” starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds, has been watched for 148.7 million hours globally since it debuted Nov. 12 on Netflix. In the past week, the most popular series was season three of “Narcos: Mexico,” with 50.3 million hours viewed.

The first season of “Squid Game” ranks as Netflix’s most-watched show or film ever, with 1.6 billion hours viewed.

Every Tuesday, Netflix will update the site “Top10 on Netflix” with the top 10 series and films on the streaming service. Until now, Netflix has been selective in sharing viewership data. It has occasionally shared views for hits, and it logs a top 10 list, without data, on the service, itself.

Though the hours-viewed metric replaces Netflix’s previous “views,” which could count just a few minutes of a movie or series. Other major streaming services, like Amazon Prime Video and Disney+, don’t regularly release viewership data.

Netflix’s metrics still don’t say how many people actually watched something on the service, and it doesn’t include films or series that fall outside of its top 10. But it’s the most transparent measurement so far embraced by Netflix.

“This is an important step forward for Netflix, the creators we work with and our members,” Pablo Perez De Rosso, a vice president for content strategy at Netflix, wrote in a blog post Tuesday. “People want to understand what success means in a streaming world, and these lists offer the clearest answer to that question in our industry.”

Netflix will publish both English and non-English rankings, and top-10 lists for more than 90 countries. The company said that it has hired the accounting firm EY to audit its figures.

At its current rate, “Red Notice” — which received largely poor reviews from critics — could become Netflix’s most popular film ever. That title currently is held by the 2018 Sandra Bullock thriller “Bird Box,” with 282 million hours viewed.

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