Netflix has long been vague about its audience numbers—even its showrunners rarely see precise viewership figures. Today that tradition continues: Netflix released its most-watched list of shows and movies in 2019—ranked by how many people watched . . . for just two minutes. Yes, two minutes. A measure of time shorter than the title sequence of some films.
Before today’s 2-minute metric, Netflix typically considered a movie or episode to be “viewed” if someone had watched at least 70%.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Netflix’s top 2019 titles list is dominated by Netflix originals or Netflix premieres: In first place is the movie Murder Mystery (star Adam Sandler claimed it was watched by 30 million accounts in its opening three days). Second on the list is Stranger Things, in its third season, followed by 6 Underground. Fifth place goes to Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, which Netflix said this month was watched—for at least two minutes, presumably—by 26 million households in its opening week.
Would other metrics for measuring views have tipped the list to rivals? Disney’s Incredibles 2, for example, was fourth on the list.
You can see the full lists of Netflix’s top 2019 shows, movies, comedy specials, and documentaries here.