Netflix Announces Big Change to How It Reports Daily Top 10 Chart

Netflix is upgrading its Top 10 list features to provide viewers with even more insights on the streaming trends around the world. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the changes went into effect on Tuesday, so at the time of this writing, they should already be apparent on most customer-facing Netflix apps. The streamer has also launched a companion website where users can see the top titles in other countries.

Netflix has been showing users a few Top 10 lists for months now – Top 10 movies, Top 10 TV shows, Top 10 kids' programs and Top 10 overall on the service. The new update reportedly makes it so that these rankings are based on the total number of hours a given title was viewed, as opposed to the previous model where two minutes or more of playback constituted a "view." Meanwhile, those looking for more details can turn to this website where Netflix is keeping a list of the Top 10 programs in over 90 countries.

This is a surprising move towards data transparency from Netflix, which has previously capitalized on its control of user data. The company does not publish metrics like the Nielsen ratings that the entertainment industry is used to, and it has much more detailed information on how, when and where users watch each title. Perhaps most importantly, it has never been this open about how far into each title viewers get, or how many viewers actually complete them.

Netflix uses the term "efficiency" to describe a complex measurement of how movies or TV shows drive subscriptions, or how they influence retention of existing subscriptions. For this, the previous two-minute "view" was sufficient, but THR's Rick Porter points out that the new "total viewing time" metric is much more relatable to the average person. It could also be useful to writers, producers and actors gauging audience interest.

Netflix's Top 10 lists will still update daily, while the new international list will update once a week on Tuesdays. Netflix also announced that it has hired an accounting firm called EY to review its internal data metrics. It promises to publish EY's findings sometime in 2022.

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"Having looked at the different options, we believe engagement as measured by hours viewed is a strong indicator of a title's popularity, as well as overall member satisfaction, which is important for retention in subscription services," wrote Netflix executive Pablo Perez De Rosso in a company blog post. "In addition, hours viewed mirrors the way third parties measure popularity, encompasses rewatch ... and can be consistently measured across different companies."