Given the unprecedented conditions this past year, we’ve all been staying in and watching Netflix a lot. The streamer has raked in record numbers in fact. But as Netflix doesn’t post ratings for its shows, it often takes some time before we find out which of their series and movies have been the most watched. Well, this year we have some idea as Netflix has revealed this year’s viewing trends. And while a lot of the most popular content won’t surprise you (Tiger King anyone?), others just might.
Big action, once the realm of blockbuster cinema only, did extremely well on Netflix this year. With theaters shut down in most of the country, action fans got their fix via the streaming giant. Among the action titles which saw record viewership were Extraction, The Old Guard, Project Power, Da Five Bloods, and Cobra Kai. The latter is notable as it was a mere cult hit when it was a YouTube exclusive, but its arrival on Netflix pushed it over the top.
When the pandemic took hold in March, Netflix reported a 50% increase in searches for “home baking shows.” And there was a similar increase for home improvement and DIY series. This was great news for shows like Get Organized with The Home Edit, Nailed It!, Million Dollar Beach House, and Crazy Delicious. There was also twice as much viewership for romantic shows and movies over last year, with movies like To All The Boys P.S I Still Love You providing a welcome distraction from reality.
There were some weird stats as well. In April, when the pandemic lockdowns were at their first peak, searches for “sad movies” went up by 30%! What, things weren’t sad enough in real life? (Humans are weird creatures). In stats that make more sense, March and April also saw a huge jump in comedy specials. And October followed suit, no doubt due to folks wanting comedic distraction from the election cycle. October saw big viewership numbers for Hubie Halloween, Space Force, Holidate and Kevin Hart, Zero F**ks Given, among others.
And what come as no surprise to anyone, big buzzworthy shows and movies like The Queen’s Gambit, The Crown, The Umbrella Academy, Ratched and Enola Holmes received equally big viewership. For all the full stats, head on over to the official Netflix site.