Every week, the majority of the most popular streaming TV shows are found on Netflix. But Netflix hardly makes any of them.
Just 3% of Netflix’s most-watched content over the last six weeks was actually produced by Netflix, according to an analysis of Nielsen data by The Entertainment Strategy Guy, a website that tracks entertainment trends. The tiny number emphasizes how much Netflix relies on licensed content to drive its growth. It also underscores the challenge the streaming service still faces in replacing that popular third-party content—some of which is now leaving the service—with equally popular shows of its own making.
Nielsen has released a weekly list of the 10 most popular streaming shows by minutes viewed since August, and Netflix routinely dominates those lists: For the week of Sept. 14, for instance, nine of the top 10 shows are in Netflix’s library. But the company owns the streaming rights to only one of those nine shows in perpetuity (Ratched, the latest series from mega-producer Ryan Murphy, who signed a $300 million deal with Netflix in 2018).
Of the 52.6 billion minutes of streaming TV compiled by Nielsen over the last six weeks, Netflix owns the copyright to just 1.6 billion of those minutes. Meanwhile, NBCUniversal owns 14.4 billion minutes (27.5%). One of the shows responsible for that huge number, Parks and Recreation, left Netflix this month for NBCUniversal’s own service, Peacock. Another immensely popular show on Netflix, The Office, will be making the same leap to