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Netflix: What the World is Watching

For the past ten years, Netflix has transformed the way the world watches movies and TV shows. It does this by providing subscribers with a massive library of mainstream classics, cult classics, and dozens of recommendations customized to their personal taste—all available at their fingertips. This is more than just convenience; it’s a media metamorphosis.

Netflix’s influence and worldwide popularity has our team at asking a lot of questions: What is everyone watching on Netflix? Who’s tuning in? And how much are they willing to pay for it? Read on for the answers to these pressing questions and more.

What Is the Most Popular Netflix Show in the World?

Netflix’s library is enormous, and there are always new shows on the way. With tens of thousands of hours already there for the bingeing, we had to know what show topped the world’s must-watch list. Using Google Trends data, our team ranked countries by their number of Netflix-related searches and cross-referenced their ranks with their most-searched show. Now for the results!

Click here for a list of each country’s favorite show

Did you deduce the winner?

It’s BBC’s Sherlock! This crime drama sets Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in modern-day London and astonishes audiences with its mysterious twists and turns. Sherlock won in three categories at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards and won a Peabody Award in 2011.

In second place is American television sitcom and cultural phenomenon Friends. Netflix has all ten seasons of the titular friends’ Manhattan adventures ready for your bingeing pleasure. Friends was named the Outstanding Comedy Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2002 and ranked as one of the greatest TV shows of all time with TV Guide and Empire magazines.

Netflix originals Narcos and House of Cards take third and fourth place respectively. Narcos is a biographical crime drama that follows the life story of a drug kingpin in Colombia. It was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. House of Cards, a political drama set in Washington, DC, is Netflix’s first original series as well as the first original online-only series to receive major Emmy nominations.

Coming in fifth place is Fox’s New Girl, a sitcom following the life of a quirky teacher, Jess, after she moves into a Los Angeles apartment with three men. The show has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and five Primetime Emmy Awards.

Top 5 Most Popular Netflix Shows in the World

  1. Sherlock
  2. Friends
  3. Narcos
  4. House of Cards
  5. New Girl


Where in the World Is Netflix the Most Popular?

Netflix has around 70.5 million global subscribers, and 53% of those are based in the United States. Out of the remaining 47%, the places most interested in Netflix are Canada, Ireland, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Denmark, and Norway.

How Has Netflix Grown over the Years?

With over 190 countries and twenty-one languages serviced, Netflix can proudly claim it’s a global internet TV network. Our animated map below illustrates Netflix’s worldwide spread. In 2009, the year before it expanded to its first international market, Netflix earned $5.2 million. Seven years later, in 2016, it earned $4,828,160,000. That’s over ninety-six-times growth in just eight years.

Who Pays the Most for Netflix?

The average cost of Netflix comes in at USD 8.00, but how much you’ll pay depends on where you live. Colombia has the lowest basic rate at USD 5.37, whereas Switzerland pays the most, with a basic rate of USD 12.13. While this is certainly a large discrepancy, it’s worth noting the average monthly net salary in Colombia is USD 340.74, while Switzerland’s is USD 4,874.29. As a global company, Netflix must balance its stockholders’ revenue expectations with what its markets can afford.

What’s next for Netflix?

Netflix’s international subscriptions are projected to surpass US subscriptions by 2018. By 2020, Netflix is projected to have as many as 75 million international subscribers, more than the total number of subscribers they have now. While we can’t anticipate what television shows the world will be watching in 2020, with this potential growth it’s safe to say we’ll be watching it on Netflix.

Most popular Netflix shows in 91 countries throughout the world.

CountryFavorite Netflix Show
AlgeriaThe Black List
ArgentinaGrand Hotel
AustraliaJane the Virgin
BelgiumNew Girl
Bosnia nd HerzegovinaBreaking Bad
BrazilPretty Little Liars
CanadaBates Motel
ChileBreaking Bad
Costa RicaThe Walking Dead
CzechiaThe Big Bang Theory
Dominican RepublicSense8
EcuadorThe Walking Dead
El SalvadorAmerican Horror Story
FinlandThe Bridge
FranceThe Returned
GeorgiaBreaking Bad
GermanyHouse of Cards
GhanaThe Originals
GreeceGrand Hotel
Hong KongBlack Mirror
HungaryFamily Guy
IndonesiaLove Rain
IranLove Rain
IrelandBlack Mirror
IsrealGrey's Anatomy
JamaicaThe Originals
KyrgystanThe Black List
MalaysiaLove Rain
MexicoLas Aparicio
MoldovaThe Vampire Diaries
NetherlandsSons of Anarchy
New ZealandWentworth
NigeriaBoys Over Flowers
NorwayThe Americans
PakistanNew Girl
PeruThe Wonder Years
PhilippinesMy Love from the Star
PolandHouse of Cards
RomaniaThe Vampire Diaries
Saudi ArabiaLost
SerbiaGossip Girl
SlovakiaThe Mentalist
South AfricaNew Girl
South KoreaSoul Eater
Sri LankaArrow
SwitzerlandHouse of Cards
TaiwanMy Love from the Star
ThailandSoul Eater
TurkeyThe Tudors
United Arab EmiratesGotham
United KingdomCall the Midwife
United StatesShameless
UruguayBreaking Bad
VenezuelaPablo Escobar
VietnamEmpresses in the Palace

Our Methodology

We used to identify the shows that are currently available on Netflix in each country. From there, we pulled Google Trends data to identify the show titles each country was searching most frequently.

Author -

Rachel’s catchphrase is “I’ma Google that.” This go-getter writer has a talent for finding incredible and bizarre facts on the web, and she is happy to pass her knowledge on to you.

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