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Netflix's Sarandos Declares New Era of Transparency, Unleashes Charts Full of Data We Already Have

Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos
(Image credit: Vox Media)

Conceding that the transition to video streaming has resulted in a scarcity of available program performance data, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos told interviewer Kara Swisher during Monday's Code Conference in Beverly Hills that Netflix is going to make an effort to change things. 

“We’re trying to be more transparent with the market and talent and everybody,” Sarandos said. “It’s a big black box for everybody.”

As a good faith effort, Sarandos proceeded to share two charts revealing the top 10 most watched original movies and TV shows appearing on Netflix so far. 

These charts largely contained data already released by Netflix, but put it all in two unified graphics. Even though the presentation was long on sizzle and lean on steak, these graphics wowed the social internet in the late afternoon Monday, with streaming biz influencers falling all over themselves to find smart things to say about them. 

One graphic revealed Netflix's top original shows based on minutes viewed in their first 28 days on the platform. (Again, we already knew Bridgerton and Bird Box were the biggest hits.)

Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

The other graphic presented by Sarandos revealed Netflix's top originals based on video starts (at least two minutes of watching) in the first 28 days on the platform. The titles are largely the same, save for a few exceptions. 

Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Perhaps more notable, Sarandos said that the Korean thriller Squid Game, which was just released Sept. 17, could become the platform's all-time most viewed show once it completes its first four weeks on Netflix. 

“There’s a show on Netflix right now that is the number one in the world," Sarandos said. "Like, everywhere in the world. It’s called Squid Game. Squid Game will definitely be our biggest non-English language show in the world, for sure. It’s only been out for nine days, and it’s a very good chance it’s going to be our biggest show ever.”

Sarandos also added details on Netflix's decision to take down Chappelle's Show last November, at the creator's request. 

“We did what I felt was the right thing by Dave, and then the rest of the industry kind of followed," he said. "I am betting forward on our long-term relationship with Dave, not trying to arbitrage something from the past. But I would like to make that content available for people and they should be under deals that are constructive. Next week, we’ll put all 108 episodes of Seinfeld on. It’s been incredibly lucrative for all the talent on that show in every form of distribution, and Dave just didn’t have a deal like that in the beginning of his career.”

Sarandos, meanwhile, also seemed to throw a little shade at Apple TV Plus, calling the platform's Ted Lasso an "awards-y" show with a relatively small audience. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.