Netflix Had Half as Many Global Hits in 2023 as 2022

Netflix added nearly 30 million global paid subscribers in 2023, though it might have watered down its hit pool in the process.

According to a new study by British streaming-data company Digital i, Netflix had fewer than half the global hits in 2023 (10) than it had in 2022 (22). Digital i defines a “hit” as an original movie or a series that was watched by at least 30 percent of Netflix’s subscriber base in North America, EU, and LATAM.

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The long list of 2022 Netflix hits goes like this: “Wednesday” (61.8%), “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” (53.3%), “Stranger Things 4” (48.0%), “The Adam Project” (47.9%), “Knives Out 2” (45.9%), “The Gray Man” (42.4%), “The Watcher” (41.9%), “The Tinder Swindler” (38.0%), “Inventing Anna” (37.5%), “The Sandman” (35.7%), “Senior Year” (35.6%), “1899” (34.7%), “Bridgerton” Season 2 (34.5%), “Troll” (34.0%), “Enola Holmes 2” (33.7%), “Luckiest Girl Alive” (33.4%), “Harry & Meghan” (32.7%), “Hustle” (32.6%), “The Man from Toronto” (31.5%), “Purple Hearts” (31.3%), “Me Time” (31.1%), “Day Shift” (31.0%), and “Falling for Christmas” (30.8%).

Unless otherwise noted, each series above is a first season (and movies are movies). “Wednesday” Season 1 and the inaugural season of “Monster” were both watched by more than half the Netflix audience. That didn’t happen in 2023.

Last year’s modest “hit” list: “Leave the World Behind” (47.3%), “Murder Mystery 2” (40.1%), “The Mother” (37.7%), “The Night Agent” (37.5%), “You People” (34.7%), “Your Place or Mine” (33.6%), “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” (33.4%), “Extraction 2” (32.8%), “Luther: The Fallen Sun” (31.4%), and “One Piece” (30.5%).

Some of the decline can be written off by the fact that Netflix had fewer originals in 2023 than 2022. Production on almost all Hollywood series and films was stopped for about half the year due to the writers and actors strikes. As Digital i notes, Peak TV has passed us. And there is some truth to the idea that the more subscribers Netflix adds, the more difficult it becomes for a single piece of content to capture 30 percent of them.

Still, here in the U.S., Netflix viewing has remained steady, Digital i finds; thank goodness for acquired content like “Suits.” The stable streaming wasn’t the case in its native Great Britain. A significant drop in viewership in the European markets dragged Netflix’s overall average streaming time down by 20 minutes per day. (It is still way ahead of the pack: the average Netflix user streams for 118 minutes a day, per the survey. The next closest is Max at 33 minutes/day.)

Digital i measures Netflix, Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ in the U.S., Europe, LatAm, and Asia. Its data is drawn from 20 countries, 30,000 households worldwide, and approximately 70,000 streaming accounts.

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