After Netflix Rolls Out Top 10 Lists, It May Rename Confusingly Similar ‘Trending,’ ‘Popular’ Sections (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix Love Is Blind S1E2

Netflix has realized that its newly launched daily top 10 lists of popular TV shows and movies may be perplexing subscribers about its similar-sounding “Popular on Netflix” and “Trending Now” recommendation features. Now the streamer is considering changing the names of those to clear up confusion with the top 10 rankings, Variety has learned.

On Monday, the company launched the country-specific top 10 lists, which appear as new rows in the Netflix interface. It’s designed as yet another entry point to spur Netflix customers to discover new titles — and watch as much video as humanly possible.

Netflix users could be forgiven if they wondered what, exactly, the difference is between the TV shows and movies on the top 10 lists and the titles already featured in the “Trending Now” and “Popular on Netflix” sections. The short answer: The two existing rows include recommendations based on your viewing profile, whereas the top 10 charts are calculated based on what’s most popular in your country unrelated to your tastes.

A source familiar with Netflix’s plans said the company plans to test alternate row title names for “Popular” and “Trending Now” to avoid potential confusion. For now, there’s no word on what the new names might be or timing.

Of course, it’s debatable how meaningful Netflix’s top 10 lists are. The rankings are based on the number of accounts that watched a given title for at least 2 minutes over the previous 24 hours, using the company’s new viewing methodology as of the fourth quarter of 2019. Previously, Netflix counted viewers who watched at least 70% of a movie or TV show episode to completion.

Even apart from Netflix’s heavy promotion of its own exclusive programming (as opposed to licensed content), does the fact that somebody clicked on a movie or show and streamed 2 minutes really reflect how popular it is? In explaining the change in the Q4 letter, Netflix argued that 120 seconds is “long enough to indicate the choice was intentional” and that the approach akin to other media companies’ popularity-ranking systems.

According to Netflix, the top titles in the U.S. for Feb. 25 were led by “Love Is Blind” (pictured above), the reality dating show hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey. The final episode premieres Friday with the weddings of the couples who made it through the unconventional matchmaking process of committing to marriage before seeing their mate face-to-face.

Here are Netflix’s U.S. top 10 lists for Tuesday (with originals indicated in italics):

Top 10 Overall

  1. “Love Is Blind”
  2. “The Last Thing He Wanted”
  3. “Narcos: Mexico”
  4. “Locke & Key”
  5. “Gentefied”
  6. “Better Call Saul”
  7. “The Foreigner”
  8. “Babies”
  9. “The Office”
  10. “A Haunted House”

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. “Love Is Blind”
  2. “Narcos: Mexico”
  3. “Locke & Key”
  4. “Gentefied”
  5. “Better Call Saul”
  6. “Babies”
  7. “The Office”
  8. “The Stranger”
  9. “The Chef Show”
  10. “I Am a Killer”

Top 10 Movies

  1. “The Last Thing He Wanted”
  2. “The Foreigner”
  3. “A Haunted House”
  4. “Girl on the Third Floor”
  5. “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You”
  6. “A Bad Moms Christmas”
  7. “Mr. Right”
  8. “The Other Guys”
  9. “Farmageddon”
  10. “The Grinch” (2018)