Netflix has revealed some color about its subscribers’ viewing habits during 2020.
The streamer saw foreign-language dramas such as Spain’s The Platform and Germany’s Barbarians boom, romance titles doubled in popularity and action titles such as Extraction and Cobra Kai flexed their muscles over the last twelves.
Some of the most interesting data provided by Netflix as part of its What We Watched 2020 report was around the pandemic and civil unrest over the summer. In March, as Covid-19 was starting to ravage the world outside of China, viewers were searching for home baking shows with almost a 50% rise from the previous month – a boon for the likes of Nailed It! and The Great British Bake Off.
The following month, searches for sad movies spiked nearly 30%, while subscribers were also calling out for stand-up shows between March and April. October was our biggest month for comedy viewing generally. Hubie Halloween, The Wrong Missy, Space Force, Holidate and Kevin Hart: Zero F**ks were the most popular comedies of the year for the service.
In the three weeks following the murder of George Floyd in May, viewing for titles that helped subscribers understand the Black experience also soared. The service launched a Black Lives Matter collection in June with viewing for titles such as 13th were up 5000%, LA92 was up 1300%, Dear White People was up 700%, The Kalief Browder Story was up 500% and American Son was up 270%.
Tiger King and Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez were its top docuseries, with American Murder: The Family Next Door, which was watched around 52M times in its first four weeks, and The Social Dilemma its top doc features. Floor is Lava, Too Hot To Handle and Love is Blind were its most popular releases of the year – although interestingly, Netflix has only publicly renewed the latter for subsequent seasons.
The dating show’s two season order may have come as a result it staying in Netflix’s Top Ten for 47 days straight after its launch in February, the second-longest run behind breakout kids show Cocomelon, which went 64 days in the same position.
The Kissing Booth 2, Princess Switch: Switched Again and To All The Boys P.S I Still Love You benefited from the fact that viewers watched twice as much romance in 2020 as they did in 2019.
Get Organized with The Home Edit, Nailed It!, Million Dollar Beach House, The American Barbecue Showdown and Crazy Delicious were its most popular food and home shows, while its top kids and family titles were The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two, The Willoughbys, The Angry Birds Movie 2, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey and Over the Moon.
Finally, as Netflix continues to ramp up its international commissioning strategy, it’s clear that English-language viewers are interested in watching shows with subtitles. The Platform, Barbarians and France’s Rogue City were the most popular foreign-language shows, while it saw a big jump in Korean drama, up 100% in the U.S. with Kingdom’s second season and The King: Eternal Monarch becoming its most popular favorite K-dramas.
Money Heist: Part 4 hit the Top 10 in 92 countries, Barbarians in 91, Alive in 90, Ragnarok in 89 and Lost Bullet in 89 countries.
Netflix also highlighted its reach across social media. As you can see below with certain emojis being used to describe its biggest titles.