Netflix Unveils Its Top of the Most Watched Series and Movies in France, but It Doesn’t Mean Anything.

Netflix Unveils Its Top of the Most Watched Series and Movies in France, but It Doesn’t Mean Anything.

– December 30, 2019 – Pop culture

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  • Netflix unveils its top of the most watched series and movies in France, but it doesn’t mean anything

The ranking of the most watched series and films in 2019 on Netflix France should be taken with great care, as no figures have been provided by the subscription video-on-demand platform.

Netflix has decided to officially communicate, for the first time, on the “most popularcontent” in France in 2019, it was announced in a press release on December 30. This is a global communication operation: these “tops” have been produced and shared in several other countries, such as India, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. They concern the 10 series, 10 films and 10 documentaries that would have been the most watched over the year depending on the territories.

However, the figures are totally absent from the rankings that were shared, making any analysis on the subject impossible, and greatly nuances the scope of this information.


La Casa de Papel // Source: Netflix

What do these Netflix TOPs say about Netflix in France?

Here’s what we know.

  • The data shared by Netflix officially concerns only content launched in 2019most popular in France“. This means that over the year, other series and films (the cult series Friends, for example) may have been watched more, but they will not appear in this ranking.
  • Data for series and films launched in December (The Witcherand You, among others) are based on “screenings” and not on the exact data at this time.
  • Aggregated series and films include all content launched in 2019, whether truly “original Netflix” (that the platform has ordered and produced) or licensed (such as series like The Good Place or Riverdale for example).
  • No figures were disclosed. This means that we don’t know the number of spectators per series or film, and especially that we don’t know the gap between two contents. The casa de papel may be far ahead of Sex Education, or perhaps they are separated by only a few dozen spectators. There’s no way of knowing.
Ranking as at December 30 Series Films Total
1 La casa de papel (P3) 6 Underground La casa de papel (P3)
2 The Witcher (S1) Triple Frontier The Witcher (S1)
3 Sex Education (S1) Commuters 6 Underground
4 The Umbrella Academy (S1) The Irishman Sex Education (S1)
5 Stranger Things (S4) Klaus The Umbrella Academy (S1)
6 You (S2) The Perfect Date Stranger Things (S4)
7 Elite (S2) Isn’t It Romantic You (S2)
8 Family Business (S1) Tall Girl Triple Frontier
9 Raising Dion (S1) Murder Mystery Elite (S2)
10 13 Reasons Why (S3) Falling Inn Love Family Business (S1)

Netflix usually considers the entire season of a series to have been watched, if you watched only 70% of the first episode (you are then counted as a “watcher”). All in all, if you watched 42 minutes of the first episode of The Witcher (which lasts 1 hour), you will be counted as a spectator for the entire season. But for this ranking, the platform went even further, as it confirmed in a tweet: it seems that you only need to have watched 2 minutes of content over the 28 days following the release of the series or film to be counted as a viewer (you are then counted as a “starter”). Which is really very, very little, and leaves one wondering about the number of spectators who have really finished, or even really started a season or a film.

Beyond the approximate meter reading, it should be noted that this count only takes into account the viewing of a series “within 28 days of its release on platform“, and not the entire length of 2019. This means that these TOP 10 are not in fact global viewing data for the year, although the figures probably overlap somewhat, given the consumption patterns of Netflix subscribers.

Finally, it should be noted that December is a crucial month for the SVOD platform: subscribers take advantage of the holiday season to catch up on many programmes, and Netflix often releases important series and films during this period. The ranking that was shared as of December 30, 2019 is therefore likely to be very different from the ranking that could have been shared as of November 30, or some other date.

This is all the more the case since we know that Netflix subscribers tend to consume the platform’s original series in “block”, watching the whole season quickly at the time of its release, and much less over the long term – unlike cult series such as Friends or The Office (available on Netflix in the US and Amazon Prime in France currently), which are watched more linearly all year round.


Wall Street Journal chart based on Nielsen data // Source: WSJ

  • To be read : This graph shows why Netflix is so dependent on Friends and The Office.

What can we really learn from this ranking?

When you add up all the nuances that need to be taken into account when reading these rankings, it becomes obvious that it is really very difficult to draw anything convincing from this meagre information.

There are, however, a few obvious facts that are noteworthy. The Witcher (season 1), which began on 20 December, would rank second in France among all content viewed in 2019 – even if these are numerical projections, the performance remains impressive, and seems to be shared across many European countries.

La casa de papel (part 3), released on 19 July 2019, is the number 1 content viewed on Netflix France in 2019, “far” ahead of Stranger Things (season 3), released almost at the same time. This is also the case for all the countries for which Netflix has produced similar rankings, such as Spain and Belgium.

The home page of a Netflix account promoting The Witcher, December 30, 2019

The home page of a Netflix account promoting The Witcher, December 30, 2019

These rankings also show the strength of 100% original films and series for Netflix. Licensed content (which Netflix distributes but does not produce) is virtually absent from the Top 10 that are starting to circulate, whether in France or elsewhere. This is in part a consequence of the strength of the Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) platform’s homepage, where Netflix can push its original content into the headlines – it will be rare for the platform to offer you series for which it only has broadcast rights, such as Friends.

Finally, it should be noted that the French film Banlieusards (released October 12, 2019) has climbed very high in the ranking of the most watched films and series on Netflix France this year, even surpassing The Irishman by Martin Scorsese (released November 27, 2019). This success is consistent with Netflix France’s communication at the time of its release: the company’s official account had shared precise figures, which is very rare, on the success of the feature film. By the end of one week, 2.6 million member households worldwide had watched the film.

For the moment, Netflix has not released any audience figures for The Irishman – but the platform will probably do so in its next quarterly results, as it has been doing for the past few months for a few large content items.

  • To be read : Why does Netflix have so many “original series” that don’t really belong to it?

Who’s who?

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  • Thug life: Tesla Cybertruck appears in rap clip

Maxime Claudel – December 30, 2019 – Vroom

Tesla’s Cybertruck appears in Travis Scott’s latest clip. Why? That is an excellent question.

Elon Musk dreams of selling his Cybertruck to the US Army: he can already consider himself lucky to have caught the eye of the artists of the hip-hop scene. Because, as unlikely as it may seem, the 100% electric pickup with its futuristic design makes a remarkable appearance in Travis Scott’s latest video clip, which has been on YouTube since December 27th.

The dream cars are part of the rappers’ paraphernalia, who like to show off their skills in their videos. In this case, we have to admit that Travis Scott opted for originality by choosing the Cybertruck, which is not even mixed with the other – more classic – cars shown in an impound lot. This is, by the way, a nice publicity stunt for Tesla, which has already recorded more than 250,000 bookings for its product.

Travis Scott

The Cybertruck in a rap clip // Source: Travis Scott

Tesla’s Cybertruck appears in rap clip

The only thing missing in the end is Elon Musk as a surprise guest in this clip, since the Cyberquad – officialized alongside the Cybertruck – and the Boring Company’s flamethrower are also on the program of the festivities. We can even see the musical artist having fun riding the electric quad to make some donuts, before using the weapon for some pyrotechnic effects you saw me. It’s almost like Mad Max.

  • To be read : Everything you need to know about the Cybertruck…

The Cybertruck remains motionless during all the sequences where it appears on the screen. We can barely see Travis Scott getting out of the cabin or two of his friends gesticulating in the dumpster – they don’t dare to throw a projectile at it. In other words, the electric pickup only serves as a decorative element in a very empty environment. Tesla, who is not known for promoting itself, has in any case chosen a strange way to promote its 100% electric pickup. At least it’s as original as the look of the vehicle.




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