Data: Netflix’s Most Popular Domestic Titles in August

Netflix August 2020 Most Popular US
Cheyne Gateley/Variety Intelligence Platform

Streaming analytics firm FlixPatrol has again provided VIP with exclusive data highlighting the most popular TV shows and movies on Netflix in August.

As a reminder, Netflix publishes daily top 10s of their most watched content. FlixPatrol measures this and applies a weight to each ranked title per day (where being ranked first is worth 10 points, ranked tenth 1 point).

Based on this, the Netflix original series “Umbrella Academy” was the most popular title on Netflix in the U.S. during August, with a score suggesting it was Netflix’s only true megahit last month. Second on the list was Netflix original movie “Project Power,” with acquired titles “Shameless,” “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” and “The Legend of Korra” rounding out the top five.

It’s worth noting that only nine TV shows (out of a total of 31 making it into the top 10 for at least one day) and seven movies (out of 29) were also in July’s top 10. The high churn is suggestive of viewers eager to consume more and more content, quickly finishing with each month’s new titles.

The hypercompetitive streaming landscape’s new realities are illustrated by the low number of acquired titles amidst TV shows. Go back a few years, and most of Netflix’s big shows were streaming reruns from TV. In August, there were only five, with “Cobra Kai,” a YouTube original snapped up by Netflix, and soon-to-depart “The Office” continuing to show its worth.

In contrast, there were more acquired movies in August’s most popular list than Netflix originals, with 18 acquired and 11 originals making the daily top 10 at least once. Among the acquired titles, the short-term carriage of the “Jurassic Park” movies illustrates that the original has a much greater pull than its sequel, with the first “Jurassic Park” racking up a score of 106 versus 6 for “The Lost World.”

The difference in ratio between originals and acquisitions for TV series and movies does hint that Netflix may find it easier to license non-original movies than TV. Strategically, this suggests that should the acquisition of movies become as difficult as that of TV shows for Netflix in the post-golden age of streaming, there may be a considerable decline in movie consumption on the platform. Whether that would impact Netflix, with its strong TV output, remains to be seen.