Viewers spent twice as much time watching documentaries and reality TV on the platform this year

By Ally Mauch
December 10, 2020 12:23 PM
Advertisement
Credit: Netflix (3)

Netflix has released a report on the most-watched content of the year, and the results are more or less in line with the roller coaster ride that has been 2020.

For those who have used the streaming service as an escape from this year, there are some familiar names on the list, including Tiger King, Love Is Blind and Selling Sunset.

In keeping with the theme of "escaping," Netflix users also looked outside of the U.S. more this year while staying at home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — the viewing of foreign language titles was up over 50 percent compared to 2019.

Spain's The Platform, Germany's Barbarians and France's Rogue City were the most popular of the foreign movies, with Korean dramas and anime viewings also showing significant increases.

Credit: Netflix

Of course, Emily in Paris also falls into the category of escaping from the U.S., though not technically a foreign title. The Lily Collins-headed series was one of the most popular comedies of the year and led to a 340+ percent increase in searches for the Kangol bucket hats her character Emily wore.

Viewers spent twice as much time watching documentaries and reality TV this year, much of which can be attributed to the top docuseries' Tiger King and Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, as well as documentary features American Murder: The Family Next Door and The Social Dilemma.

Netflix's latest forays into reality TV also proved to be successful, with Floor Is Lava, Love Is Blind and Too Hot To Handle taking the top spots. Love Is Blind even stayed in the U.S. top 10 for 47 days straight after its release in February, the second-longest run of any title on Netflix.

Similarly, viewership of romance movies and shows, including The Kissing Booth 2, Princess Switch: Switched Again and To All The Boys P.S I Still Love You, doubled in 2020 (perhaps a result of real-life dating becoming almost impossible).

To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
| Credit: Bettina Strauss/Netflix

Other results in the Netflix report also fell in line with the timeline of the pandemic — March saw increases in baking, DIY and home shows, and in April, searches for "sad movies" spiked nearly 30 percent.

In addition to the escapism content, viewers turned to Netflix to learn more about the Black experience in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd in police custody in May.

In the three weeks that followed his murder, Ava DuVernay's documentary on mass incarceration, 13th, was up 5000+ percent. LA 92, a film about the 1992 Los Angeles riots, was up 1300+ percent, Dear White People was up 700+ percent, and Dave Chappelle's 8:46, a special about violence against Black Americans, became the top trending video of the year on YouTube.