Netflix: 'Murder Mystery' Was Most 'Popular,' But Low TV Ad Spending

While Netflix says its original movie “Murder Mystery” was its most “popular” film or TV show of 2019, TV advertising spending was small compared to other 2019 TV/film releases.

The film, starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, had just 27 commercial TV airings, with a national/TV ad spend of $1.2 million, yielding 49.2 million impressions, according to

Much of Netflix’s on-air efforts in 2019 for went into two original movies -- “6 Underground” (with 170 airings of TV commercials, $13.1 million in TV spending and 260.9 million impressions) and “The Irishman” (with 40 airings, $10.7 million in spending and 229.7 million impressions).

Two of three of its most “popular” TV shows received heavy TV advertising efforts: “The Umbrella Academy” with 147 airings, $4.1 million in TV spending and 127.9 million impressions and “Stranger Things” with 541 airings, $1.2 million in spending and 99.3 million impressions.  



Another highly promoted TV series -- “Dead to Me” -- had 180 airings with $2.2 million in spending, and 122 million impressions. Overall, Netflix spent $102.6 million in national/regional TV spending in 2019.

Recently, Netflix has ramped up efforts around two new TV dramas -- “Messiah” with 126 commercial airings, $3.5 million in spending, and 166.2 million impressions, and “The Witcher” with 212 airings, $5 million in TV spending and 164.2 million impressions.)

Without offering any viewing or other data, Netflix says “Murder Mystery” was its “most” popular TV or movie on its service of the year. Its third season of  “Stranger Things” was Netflix's most “popular” TV series.

In disclosing its popularity analysis, Netflix has said the rankings were determined by counting the total number of households to stream an individual movie/TV episode for at least two minutes during the first 28 days of its release.

After “Murder Mystery,” the completed top-ten movie list includes “6 Underground,” “The Incredibles,” “The Irishman,” “Triple Frontier,” “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” “The Highwaymen,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Secret Obsession."

After “Stranger Things,” other top TV Netflix TV shows are “The Witcher," “The Umbrella Academy,” “Dead to Me,” “You: Season 2,” “When They See Us”, “Unbelievable,” “Sex Education,” “13 Reasons Why” and “Raising Dion.”

Overall -- looking at a combined list of TV shows and movies -- Netflix says “Murder Murder” was first in its popularity score, followed by “Stranger Things 3”, “6 Underground” and “Incredibles 2.”

During the year, Netflix says, from the period from October through June, 73 million Netflix households watched 70% of the “Murder Mystery” movie.

Earlier this month, Netflix says, for an average during seven-day period, “The Irishman” was seen in 26.4 million U.S. Netflix households -- those that have watched more than 70% of the three-and-a-half-hour film.

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