Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 February 2020

Most streamed: what the UAE watched on Netflix this year, from 'Murder Mystery' to Marie Kondo

The streaming site has released which 10 fiction, non-fiction and comedy shows were most watched in the UAE

Diverse viewing in the UAE: Jo Koy, Marie Kondo and 'Money Heist' are among the country's most watched Netflix titles. Courtesy Netflix 
Diverse viewing in the UAE: Jo Koy, Marie Kondo and 'Money Heist' are among the country's most watched Netflix titles. Courtesy Netflix 

Netflix has released its most watched movies and series of 2019 in the UAE, and the results may surprise you.

Movies hold all three of the top spots on the list released by Netflix. Overall, Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston's comedy movie Murder Mystery was the most watched title on the steaming platform this year, with Abu Dhabi-shot Ryan Reynolds flick 6 Underground in second place and Martin Scorsese epic The Irishman in third. All three are Netflix originals.

Murder Mystery had Netflix's biggest-ever opening weekend in June when more than 30 million people tuning into it in its first two days online.

But the top 10 isn't entirely dominated by movies. The Witcher takes the fourth spot, despite only being released on Friday, December 20. Money Heist: Part 3 is the only other series on the fiction top 10 list.

 Henry Cavill plays Gerald of Rivia in The Witcher, premiering on Netflix on December 20, 2019 Katalin Vermes / Netflix via AP
Henry Cavill plays Gerald of Rivia in The Witcher, which premiered on Netflix on December 20, 2019. Courtesy Netflix

The UAE's top 10 fictional Netflix titles from 2019:

  1. Murder Mystery
  2. 6 Underground
  3. The Irishman
  4. The Witcher
  5. Triple Frontier
  6. Isn't It Romantic
  7. Money Heist: Part 3
  8. Tall Girl
  9. The Perfect Date
  10. Falling Inn Love

The streaming site has also released the UAE's non-fiction favourites. The queen of tidying and organising Marie Kondo takes the top-spot with her series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and season one of game show Awake: The Million Dollar Game comes in at second.

Unsurprisingly, My Next Guest with David Letterman and Shah Rukh Khan completes the non-fiction top three.

A behind the scenes photo of chat show host David Letterman in the kitchen with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, in 'My Next Guest with David Letterman and Shah Rukh Khan'. Courtesy Netflix 
A behind the scenes photo of chat show host David Letterman in the kitchen with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, in 'My Next Guest with David Letterman and Shah Rukh Khan'. Courtesy Netflix

Cooking shows prove popular, with two seasons of Sugar Rush making the top 10, as do property shows, with three on the list, including Interior Design Masters and Selling Sunset.

The UAE's top 10 non-fiction Netflix titles from 2019:

  1. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo – Season 1
  2. Awake: The Million Dollar Game – Season 1
  3. My Next Guest with David Letterman and Shah Rukh Khan
  4. You vs. Wild – Season 1
  5. Sugar Rush Christmas – Season 1
  6. Interior Design Masters – Season 1
  7. Selling Sunset – Season 1
  8. Rust Valley Restorers – Season 1
  9. Prank Encounters – Season 1
  10. Sugar Rush – Season 2

Comedy specials have also been ranked by the streaming site. Kevin Hart: Irresponsible, Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones and Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias: One Show Fits All make up the top three. Amy Schumer Growing comes in at number four – the only female-led comedy special to make the top 10.

Dave Chappelle's 'Sticks & Stones' was the second most watched comedy special on Netflix in the UAE in 2019, after 'Kevin Hart: Irresponsible'. Courtesy Netflix
Dave Chappelle's 'Sticks & Stones' was the second most watched comedy special on Netflix in the UAE in 2019, after 'Kevin Hart: Irresponsible'. Courtesy Netflix

In sixth place is Jo Koy: Comin' In Hot. Filipino-American comedian Jo Koy is bringing his comedy to Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena on Monday, January 20, marking his debut performance in the emirate.

The UAE's top 10 comedy special Netflix titles from 2019:

  1. Kevin Hart: Irresponsible
  2. Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones
  3. Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias: One Show Fits All
  4. Amy Schumer Growing
  5. Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho
  6. Jo Koy: Comin' In Hot
  7. Bill Burr: Paper Tiger
  8. Aziz Ansari: RIGHT NOW
  9. Jeff Dunham: Beside Himself
  10. Comedians of the world: Middle East

How does the ranking work?

According to Netflix, the lists include all titles (licensed and original) that came on Netflix this year, and they "are ranked by the number of accounts choosing to watch at least two minutes of a series, movie or special during its first 28 days on Netflix in 2019."

The time frame is key, as it prevents the lists from favouring titles that were released earlier in the year, and have therefore been listed on the site for longer.

They add, "For anything that’s launched in the last 28 days or less, the forecast is based on initial viewing, which is regularly used for renewal decisions as well as past earnings letters, so significant resources are invested in making these early projections as accurate as possible."

When ranking TV series alongside movies in the fiction top 10, Netflix says that viewing figures are based on a single episode of the most-watched season.

"This way there isn’t a bias towards titles with more episodes vs a one-off like a comedy special or film," the site clarified. "More importantly, we’ve calculated this using the number of accounts that choose to watch two minutes of a series/film which avoids any discrimination against long-form content."

Updated: December 30, 2019 01:02 PM

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