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Netflix just announced its most popular movies and shows of 2019 – did your favorites make the list?

Published Dec 30th, 2019 1:27PM EST
Netflix Best Of 2019
Image: Netflix

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Netflix ended 2019 by continuing to slowly embrace a practice the streamer has historically been loathe to engage in throughout its existence thus far — sharing data about what people are watching on a service once notoriously stingy about releasing viewership metrics.

What that means is Netflix has now jumped into the fray and added its own end-of-year “Best Of” lists to go along with the slew of these tallies that have been making the rounds and will continue to do so in the lead-up to January 1, 2020. The rankings of Netflix’s most popular content from 2019, however, are noteworthy for being more than just yet another such rundown for the year. As you can see below, Netflix is also using this opportunity to tout the fact that its own shows and movies — everything from Adam Sandler’s Murder Mystery to Stranger Things 3 — dominated the lists and its subscribers’ time spent with the service over the past 12 months.

A couple of important points to note right off the bat: The tabulations below haven’t been verified by a third-party measurement service like Nielsen, so you’re left to sort of take Netflix at its word. Also, the lists are based on looking at accounts that watched at least two minutes of a show or movie within its first 28 days of release on the service. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at what Netflix says were its overall most popular releases for the year in the US, a list that includes both shows and movies (Very interesting that The Witcher made it onto this list, given that it’s only a little more than a week old, no?):

Image source: Scott Yamano/Netflix/Kobal/Shutterstock

Top 10 most popular Netflix releases for 2019

1. Murder Mystery

2. Stranger Things 3

3. 6 Underground

4. The Incredibles 2

5. The Irishman

6. The Witcher

7. Triple Frontier

8. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

9. The Umbrella Academy

10. The Highwaymen

An interesting question to ponder — for those of you who watched all or the majority of the content on these lists, has Netflix entered HBO-like territory for you? Specifically, do you find yourself taste-testing most of the high-profile originals that Netflix releases, similar to the way HBO has established itself as a tastemaker and conditioned its subscribers to try almost everything the network pumps out? The future for Netflix in 2020 and beyond will rely in large part on whether or not that question gets a positive answer.

Meantime, let’s move on to Netflix’s most popular series of 2019 — again, a list that its own productions dominated:

Image source: Netflix

Top 10 most popular Netflix series releases for 2019

1. Stranger Things 3

2. The Witcher

3. The Umbrella Academy

4. Dead to Me

5. You Season 2

6. When They See Us

7. Unbelievable

8. Sex Education

9. 13 Reasons Why Season 3

10. Raising Dion

We’ve looked at the most popular shows, the most popular overall content, which leaves Netflix’s movie-exclusive list for 2019:

Top 10 most popular Netflix movie releases for 2019

1. Murder Mystery

2. 6 Underground

3. The Incredibles 2

4. The Irishman

5. Triple Frontier

6. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

7. The Highwaymen

8. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

9. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

10. Secret Obsession

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.