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Netflix releases first biannual viewership report

Netflix (NFLX) is doubling down on its viewership transparency.

On Tuesday, the streaming giant released its first-ever biannual viewing report dubbed “What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report.”

The report, which covers six months of data, includes hours viewed for every title (original and licensed) watched for over 50,000 hours, the premiere date for any Netflix TV series or film, and whether a title was available globally.

In total, Netflix said the report covers more than 18,000 titles — representing 99% of all viewing on Netflix — and nearly 100 billion hours viewed.

Season 1 of “The Night Agent,” which debuted on March 23, claimed the top spot after amassing 812 million hours viewed by the end of June. Season 2 of “Ginny and Georgia” came in second with more than 665 million hours viewed following its Jan. 5 debut.

“Wednesday” Season 1 rounded out the top three with nearly 508 million viewing hours. To note, the series came out in November of 2022, making the viewership numbers especially impressive.

“This is our data, and it is our accurate data,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said on a press call with reporters. “It’s the data that we use to run the business that we’re sharing with you. Us compiling the data to provide to a third party to provide it to you seems like a lot of steps of something that’s already a pretty heavy lift.”

Licensed content made up a significant portion of viewing hours as shows like “Suits” see new life on platform. From January to June 2023, 55% of viewing came from Netflix films and series with 45% from licensed titles.

Still, Netflix doesn’t plan to license its own content to competitors any time soon.

“What’s interesting is a show like ‘Suits,’ which has been played on USA for a long time, has been available on Peacock and had been available on Amazon for a couple of years before it hit Netflix, and yet we were able to unlock this enormous, enormous global audience for it,” Sarandos said in response to Yahoo Finance’s question on the call regrading its licensing strategy. “That’s the combination of our large subscriber base and our recommendation system that knew to put ‘Suits’ in front of people who were going love it the most.”

“I do not think that that necessarily would happen in reverse,” he continued. “I do think that we can add tremendous value when we license content, I’m not positive that that’s reciprocal.”

Netflix shares were muted in afternoon trading on Tuesday but have climbed more than 50% since the start of the year.

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