Family, Kids titles are top Australian performers in Netflix viewing

True Spirit the top Aussie show in rarely-released Netflix data -plus the twist in Wellmania axing.

Netflix has boldly released viewing data in the first of a twice-yearly report What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report. 

The report covers more than 18,000 titles over a six month period January and June 2023.

The top Australian-made title in the period was the True Spirit Jessica Watson bio-drama at 56,700,000 hours viewed.

Next was Celeste Barber comedy Wellmania at 41,300,000 across its 8 episodes. Oddly the show was not renewed last month, with Barber noting, “I thought it smashed it, but I don’t understand how it works. This industry is kind of bullshit.”

A source close to Netflix confirmed that when it comes to renewal or cancellation decisions, it always looks at viewing versus cost.

Meanwhile, Family and Children’s titles have configured very well amongst the shows including Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance, Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure, The InBESTigators and Surviving Summer.

Jenny Buckland CEO of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation noted sevaral shows in the top ten and top twenty Australian shows were kids shows.

“It shows the overall quality and international appeal of Australian children’s content, and that when these shows are given a chance on commercial platforms audiences choose to watch them. It also shows that children are a core audience of the streaming platforms and should not be ignored!” she said.

It’s important to remember not all shows listed are Netflix commissions, and not all were first release during the period, meaning viewing may be part of a long tail…

Very importantly, not every title was available to global audiences.

This list includes key brands for Aussie-related content, rather than every individual season:

True Spirit 56,700,000
Wellmania: Season 1 41,300,000
Gymnastics Academy: A Second Chance: Season 1 28,000,000
Heartbreak High 27,700,000
Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure: Season 1 24,700,000
The InBESTigators: Season 1 20,200,000
A Perfect Pairing 20,200,000
Interceptor 18,000,000
Glitch: Season 1 16,500,000
Clickbait: Limited Series 14,700,000
Wild Croc Territory: Season 1 13,800,000
Surviving Summer: Season 1 12,700,000
Tidelands: Season 1 11,900,000
Pine Gap: Season 1 10,300,000
The Bureau of Magical Things: Season 2 9,500,000
The Stranger 8,600,000
Peter Rabbit (2018) 8,500,000
Fisk 7,700,000
Little Lunch Season 1 7,700,000
Go Karts 7,700,000
Cargo 7,400,000
This Little Love of Mine 7,100,000
The Unlisted: Season 1 6,900,000
Great White 6,700,000
Run Rabbit Run 7,300,000
Dive Club: Season 1 7,200,000
Maverix: Season 1 6,600,000
Wentworth: Season 8 5,900,000
Wanted: Season 1 5,500,000
A Second Chance: Rivals! 5,400,000
Secret City 5,200,000
The New Legends of Monkey: Season 2 5,100,000
Back of the Net 3,600,000
Stateless: Limited Series 3,200,000
Love Island Australia: Season 4 3,100,000
Irreverent: Season 1 2,600,000
Miriam Margolyes: Almost Australian: Season 1 2,900,000
The Unusual Suspects: Season 1 2,500,000
Superbro: Season 2 (aka Superwog) 2,400,000
Raising the Bar (2016) 2,400,000
Love on the Spectrum: Australia: Season 2 2,300,000
Going for Gold (2018) 2,200,000
The Letdown: Season 1 1,900,000
Kath and Kim: Season 1 1,700,000
Lunatics: Season 1 1,500,000
Hannah Gadsby: Something Special 1,400,000
Byron Baes: Season 1 800,000
Heartbreak High (1994): Season 1 400,000
Why Are You Like This: Season 1 600,000
Australia’s Ocean Odyssey: Season 1 500,000
Celeste Barber: Fine, thanks 1,200,000
Tales by Light: Season 3 900,000
Motown Magic: Season 2 1,900,000
Extreme Engagement: Season 1 600,000
White Rabbit Project: Season 1 500,000
Ali’s Wedding 400,000
The Deep (2015): Season 1 400,000
Kazoops!: Season 3 1,300,000
Bottersnikes & Gumbles: Season 1 600,000
Ultimate Beastmaster Australia: Survival of the Fittest 400,000
72 Dangerous Animals: Australia: Season 1 300,000
The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone 100,000
Hating Peter Tatchell 100,000
Urzila Carlson: Overqualified Loser 100,000
Rhys Nicholson Live at the Athenaeum 100,000
Rabbit-Proof Fence 100,000
Griff’s Great Australian Rail Trip: Season 1 100,000
Operation Buffalo: Season 1 100,000

When reading the report it’s important to remember: Success on Netflix comes in all shapes and sizes, and is not determined by hours viewed alone. We have enormously successful movies and TV shows with both lower and higher hours viewed. It’s all about whether a movie or TV show thrilled its audience — and the size of that audience relative to the economics of the title; and To compare between titles it’s best to use our weekly Top 10 and Most Popular lists, which take into account run times and premiere dates,” said Netflix.

“This is a big step forward for Netflix and our industry. We believe the viewing information in this report — combined with our weekly Top 10 and Most Popular lists — will give creators and our industry deeper insights into our audiences, and what resonates with them.”


5 Responses

  1. Thanks for the list David. It might be worthwhile to sign up to Netflix for a month to sample some of these popular titles in this ho,ho,ho,hum time on FTA.

  2. The numbers are in hours watched, you can calculate how many viewers watched a season by dividing by episodes and length. Netflix has built algorithms, based on trends for viewing the first few episodes that predict how many will finish S1, and how many are likely to watch subsequent seasons. They are ruthless. There’s still much better stuff on FTA for free than on that list (and stuff like Operation Buffalo was but I only watched 10m of it).

  3. I’m really hoping Peacock production (I believe Netflix has the rights elsewhere) Irreverent, which was filmed in Queensland with Colin Donnell, gets renewed for another season but I’m doubtful now as it feels like too much time has passed and its been lost in the shuffle.

  4. Be interested to know if viewing hours is for full episodes only or partial. A number of times I have started watching something and given up after a few minutes if I don’t think its something I’d like.

  5. Given that Netflix only report viewing hours, I do wonder if Wellmania had a lot of viewers watch the first couple of episodes and then drop off? While I enjoyed it, I found it really too drawn out across 8 episodes and it could have been more compact.

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