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Netflix Will Finally Tell You What the Most Popular Movies and Shows Are

Illustration for article titled Netflix Will Finally Tell You What the Most Popular Movies and Shows Are
Image: Netflix

Netflix’s recent pivot to churning out originals has meant that it’s been throwing a lot of shit against a wall to see what sticks. This—combined with whatever algorithm is in place to determine what you like based on what you’ve watched or selected—makes for a pretty muddy discovery process for users hoping to find the next great thing on the service.

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Now, a new feature could help surface some of the more compelling content users are watching day to day. As of today, a new row on the Netflix home screen will display the top 10 most popular shows and movies on the platform that day in the U.S. The order will change daily depending on what others are watching, and Netflix says that “the position of the row will vary depending on how relevant the shows and films are to you.” That is to say, if you’re not likely to watch what’s ranked highest, Netflix is less likely to promote the list to you.

An example of a top 10 list for TV and movies
An example of a top 10 list for TV and movies
Image: Netflix
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This list will be visible on the main Netflix page, and individual top 10 lists will have their own respective spots on the TV and movie tabs. According to Netflix, items that appear on these lists will get earmarked with special badges elsewhere in search and on the site.

Netflix may not do everything right—flooding its site with content it hopes will have something for everyone, for example, has created an especially frustrating experience for users seeking quality over quantity—but giving users a better chance at discovering good content, or at the very least popular content, might lend itself better to a discovery experience much closer to one users actually want. That is, one that’s less like dumpster diving for content and more like a thoughtfully curated platform promoting semi-watchable TV and movies.

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DISCUSSION

jonhartwig
jonhartwig

That’s not really the information I was looking for. It’s not the most popular content on the site, rather just what they think you’ll watch. I get how one thing serves their business model and the thing I really want doesn’t, but damn. I really, really want to know what the most popular show is by viewership and content completion rates. I really want that.