The most popular original movie and TV show on Netflix this year were both teen oriented fare, according to a year-end list the company published on Tuesday. What’s particularly telling is that both the movie, The Kissing Booth, and the TV show, On My Block, haven’t gotten very much media attention. Certainly, the traditional media paid more attention to other Netflix shows like Stranger Things (whose most recent season debuted last year, so it wasn’t on the list) or movies like Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar -hopeful Roma. Netflix compiled the list based on the average length of viewing time for TV shows, while it judged the popularity of movies based on how often they were watched more than once.
Part of that discrepancy could be simply because popular programming for teenagers typically get less coverage than content aimed at older audiences. But it could also reflect just how fragmented our viewing landscape has become in the era of Netflix. Because Netflix doesn’t release actual viewership numbers it’s impossible to know what it means to be the most popular Netflix show, compared with those on TV. Still, it’s possible that we now live in a media environment where the most popular shows and movies on the largest streaming service are unknown to most people in the country.