Netflix releases streaming report for the end of 2023 — and there are some big surprises

Lee Jung-jae, Oh Young-soo in Squid Game
(Image credit: Netflix)

This week Netflix dropped “What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report,"
a massive spreadsheet that shows viewership figures on the streamer from July-December 2023 covering 99% of all viewing on Netflix. 

According to Netflix, global subscribers watched about 90 billion hours of content on the service in the second half of 2023, a slight dip from the 93 billion hours watched in the first half of the year.

Though the report contains a treasure trove of data and viewing figures for nearly every TV show and movie currently on the service, here are some things that stood out to us: 

'One Piece' was a massive hit for the streamer

Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy in One Piece

(Image credit: Netflix)

We knew that the "One Piece" live-action adaptation was a huge hit in 2023 when it was released, but now we know exactly how overwhelming that success was, with the series' inaugural season sitting atop the six-month report as the most-viewed English-language series on Netflix with over 540 million hours viewed, far surpassing runner up "Sex Education" season 4, which racked up 374 million hours viewed. 

The success of "One Piece" also helped drive increased viewership of the original animated series that inspired it, with Netflix revealing that viewing figures for the anime doubled after the debut of the live-action series. 

The cancelation of 'Obliterated' makes even less sense now

(L to R) Nick Zano as Chad McKnight, Shelley Hennig as Ava Winters in episode 108 of Obliterated

(Image credit: Netflix)

Fans were shocked when the drama "Obliterated" was officially canceled earlier this year, after a strong debut at the tail end of 2023, where the series immediately rocketed to the top of the TV streaming chart upon release, and spent a total of six weeks in Netflix's top 10. 

With the release of this new report, this cancelation is even more confusing, as the series notched an impressive 184 million hours viewed, which was enough to land it in the top 20 English-language programs for the six-month period that the report covers, ahead of renewed Netflix originals like "Love is Blind" and "Sweet Magnolias." 

Though Netflix has never revealed what factors go into their cancelation formula, many assumed that the series just didn't get enough views to justify the cost of the action-heavy series. However, with these impressive viewership figures now available, fans are left to wonder just how many more hours of watching would have been enough for "Obliterated" to avoid joining the canceled shows list.

'Squid Game' continues to be a huge hit, 3 years after its debut

Lee Jung-jae stars in Squid Game on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

"Squid Game" may have been the unexpected hit of 2021 but the Korean thriller about a life-and-death game show still captivated audiences in 2023, adding 117 million hours to its overall total of over 2 billion hours viewed on the platform during the six-month period that Netflix's viewership report covers. 

Much of this continued interest was likely driven by the release of the reality spin-off "Squid Game: The Challenge," which racked up 270 million hours viewed on the platform, landing it in the 10th place spot for most hours viewed globally during the period. 

Taken together, the high interest in "Squid Game: The Challenge" as well as the continued viewership growth for the flagship series make it clear that viewers are still very excited by the Korean thriller, which is great news for Netflix as the much-anticipated "Squid Game" season 2 is scheduled to drop later this year. 

Library titles continue to drive viewership

Patrick J. Adams and Gabriel Macht in Suits

(Image credit: Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo)

Though Netflix's push towards original content in recent years has produced plenty of bona fide hits, licensed library titles remain hugely popular on the platform. 

According to the report, "Suits," which originally ran from 2011 to 2019 on USA, attracted a massive 1.5 billion hours viewed across nine seasons in the back half of 2023 — making it the most-viewed library title by far. 

Other library hits for the streamer during the period include “Young Sheldon,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Gossip Girl,” and “Gilmore Girls,” each of which had at least 100 million hours viewed during the period. 

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Amanda Kondolojy

Amanda Kondolojy is an entertainment journalist based in Florida with over 15 years of experience covering film, TV, theme parks and more. When not in front of a screen you can find her reading something at the beach (usually by Neil Gaiman, Grady Hendrix or Brandon Sanderson) or dancing around the kitchen to her favorite showtunes.