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Netflix on Tuesday released some year-end lists about the way people watched some of its content — but as usual, how many watched remains opaque.
In fact, the fine print in the streamer’s release may be the most relevant. Netflix has released a few lists naming its most rewatched movies and the shows people binge-watched in huge chunks. Below each list, however, is this disclaimer: “Ranking on this list has no relation to overall viewing.”
Which, on one hand, is not surprising. The streaming giant has never released any concrete viewership data, as its business model depends more on subscriber growth and retention than the audience for any given show or movie. It has also claimed that any third-party data, be it from Nielsen or any other measurement firm, doesn’t tell the complete story.
On the other hand, the opaqueness also means that, for example, when Netflix says more than 50 percent of viewers of its rom-coms The Kissing Booth and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before watched more than once, no one knows how big that audience is. Five thousand people? 500,000? 5 million? It’s anyone’s guess!
The Kissing Booth was the service’s most rewatched movie of 2018 (through Nov. 28), followed by To All the Boys and Roxanne Roxanne, the biopic about hip-hop pioneer Roxanne Shanté that was released in March.
Netflix also says the following shows had the highest binge quotient — that is, the highest average watch time per viewing session. Again, the ranking has no reflection on actual viewing, just the largest chunks of time spent.
1. On My Block
2. Making a Murderer: Part 2
3. 13 Reasons Why season two
4. Last Chance U: INDY
6. Fastest Car
7. The Haunting of Hill House
8. Anne With an E season two
10. Orange Is the New Black season six
Netflix also rated its breakout stars of 2018, as determined by percentage growth in Instagram followers. By that metric, Queer Eye‘s Fab Five raised their collective profile the most. To All the Boys stars Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, both of whom had huge spikes in followers following the movie’s release, rank second and seventh. The rest of the top 10 includes Kissing Booth stars Joel Courtney (third) and Joey King (eighth); Miguel Herrán (fourth), Jaime Lorente Lopez (fifth) and Maria Pedraza (sixth) of Elite; Nanette‘s Hannah Gadsby (ninth); and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina star Kiernan Shipka (tenth).