The year 2020 is when the streaming wars will really ramp up. Two prominent services debuted in November of 2019 (Apple TV+ and Disney+), and two more will come in April and May of 2020, (Peacock and HBO Now). With the looming glut of entertainment options, viewers are going to struggle to know what's worth watching, what everyone else is watching, and where to find it. One of the original streamers, Netflix, is trying to cut through the clutter with a new "Top 10" feature. But it's not immediately obvious where it is, so here's how to find Netflix's Top 10 list to help you decide what's worth your limited viewing hours.
Most people, when they open Netflix, rarely go beyond the homepage. There's the splash at the top of the page, advertising whichever new show or movie the algorithm has determined you are most likely to want to watch. The "Continue Watching" row comes next; for those in the middle of a series, this is the first place to head so you can easily pick up where you left off. This is followed by the "Popular on Netflix" and "Trending Now" rows, but these are also algorithm-affected, with little to show one way or the other which of the offered options are mainstream-level popular.
So where are these new Top 10 lists? They haven't rolled out to everyone as of Feb. 27, but eventually, all viewers should have them. The central "Top 10 in the U.S. Today" should appear on the homepage, about three or four rows down. The others aren't as easy to find.
For the TV and Movie lists, you must scroll up, not down, to the menu bar, where on the left-hand side it says "Home/TV Shows/Movies/Latest/My List."
Click on "TV Shows" and scroll down to the third row of tiles. "Top 10 TV Shows In The U.S. Today" appears in numerical order between the "Continue Watching" and "Watch it Again" rows. Movies may be slightly lower, especially if (like me) you're not s big of a movie watcher. My "Top 10 Movies in the U.S. Today" row was five rows down, after "Trending Now" and four different genre rows.
Fans might wonder how, exactly, does Netflix measure how popular a show is. That part is not totally clear, but the designation will be visible even when the title is featured in differently themed row. In the press release rolling out this feature, Netflix did not say if it would measure by how many people finished an episode, or how many people merely started it. But in the chaos of streaming overload, a guide to what everyone is watching, even if it's only the first 15 minutes, is a godsend. Plus, everyone loves a good Top 10 list to debate over.