Oscar Nominations Gave Netflix Original Films Huge Viewer Bump

An Oscar nomination goes a long way when it comes to attracting new streaming viewers, new data from Netflix suggests.

Notoriously guarded when it comes to sharing numbers, the content giant exclusively reveals to Variety that its 16 Oscars hopefuls enjoyed considerable viewership increases in the days following the March 15 announcement of the Academy Award nominations.

The figures below — impacting a variety of originals including “Da 5 Bloods,” “Pieces of a Woman,” and “Mank” — represent an increase in the number of households that chose to watch a given film in the 7 days following the nominations, compared to the 7 days prior. These figures only accounted for first-time viewers of the films (many of these titles have available on Netflix for months, and did not count repeat viewers).

David Fincher’s “Mank,” the leader of the Oscar pack with 10 nominations, saw a 702% increase in new viewers, the streamer said. The documentary short “A Love Song for Latasha,” a dreamlike biographical piece from Sophia Nahli Allison, saw a staggering 1802% increase in new viewers. George Clooney’s “The Midnight Sky” saw a 45% uptick, while the animated contender “Over The Moon” saw 21% (see the full chat below).



Those numbers, of course, do not have the benefit of added context like how many households or active accounts viewed the content. Netflix selectively reveals viewer stats for original film and TV programming. It is often based on a proprietary equation that measures or projects how many accounts have or will view a piece of content in its first 28 days on the service.

In quarterly earnings reports to shareholders over the past year, Netflix revealed viewership stats including: 27 million households watched Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” in its first month; 72 million households tuned in for George Clooney’s “The Midnight Sky,” 27 million pushed play on Ramin Bahrani’s “The White Tiger,” and 43 million streamed the animated “Over the Moon.”

Under the stewardship of original film head Scott Stuber, Netflix has for the second year in a row ranked as the studio with the most Oscar nominations in show business. The service has also become savvier at packaging its contenders. In the days following the Oscar nominations, users logging into Netflix were greeted with a dedicated splash page showcasing all of its nominated originals before sending them to the main interface.

The level of awareness for these films would seem to be an encouraging sign for streaming distributors — especially as a recent study from agency Guts + Data suggested that consumers were only dimly aware of this year’s crop of Best Picture nominees.

*Netflix acquired the Oscar-nominated short “Two Distant Strangers” after the 2021 nominees were announced. The acclaimed short will not debut on the service until April 9, so was not included in these figures. 



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