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29 September 2021

The ten most-watched Netflix series

Viewing figures released for the first time show Money Heist and Stranger Things are the most-watched series on the streaming service.

By Katharine Swindells

Money Heist and Stranger Things are the most watched series on Netflix, according to viewing figures released for the first time this week by the streaming giant. Netflix is notoriously cagey about its viewing figures, making it difficult for industry rivals to make comparisons.

Previously the company has only made available the number of accounts that watched a title for at least two minutes, which doesn’t account for multiple watches, or households turning off after a few minutes. But new engagement data released this week by Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO and chief content officer, offers more transparency.

Released last January, Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton is Netflix’s most-watched original series, with 625 million hours watched globally within 28 days of release. But Money Heist and Stranger Things, with slightly shorter run times, have the most views per hour, with Money Heist: Part 4 achieving 88 million views per hour of the series.

For comparison, BBC’s Line of Duty earlier this year received a total of around 107 million hours watched in the UK (averaging at 15.4 million views per episode within 28 days of its airing). The 2018 series Bodyguard, also on the BBC, averaged at 15.6 million views per episode.

These figures cover just the UK, while Netflix’s numbers are global – with shows such as the Spanish-language Money Heist propelled to international success.

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Former BBC director general Tony Hall has said he does not see Netflix and other streaming services as a threat to public service broadcasters, as the BBC produces highly acclaimed series’ such as Bodyguard and Killing Eve on a far lower budget than Netflix or Disney+.

[See also: Wealthy countries are falling short of their climate finance pledges, finds new analysis]

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