This past weekend saw the debut of the second season of Stranger Things, with reports claiming that the first episode was streamed by nearly 16 million viewers within three days of its premiere. Additionally, data points out that the entire nine-episode season was binge-watched by 4.6 million viewers, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Netflix has always been quite secretive about its data related to viewership, but given the rise of the service and it becoming a major player in the world of TV series, Nielsen revealed its research would also begin to cover the streaming service. In addition to tracking information about an episode's live airing, it also tracks how many times a show is watched within a three-day window, compensating for recordings and video-on-demand options.
Another interesting data point that Nielsen released was that, within 24 hours of its debut, nearly 361,000 subscribers viewed the entire season. These statistics, however, don't include mobile devices.
The viewing statistics of the subsequent eight episodes are as follows:
- "Chapter Two" — 13.7 million viewers; 9.6 million people 18-49
- "Chapter Three" — 11.6 million viewers; 8.1 million viewers 18-49
- "Chapter Four" — 9.3 million viewers; 6.6 million viewers 18-49
- "Chapter Five" — 8 million viewers; 5.6 million viewers 18-49
- "Chapter Six" — 6.4 million viewers; 4.5 million viewers 18-49
- "Chapter Seven" — 5.3 million viewers; 3.7 million viewers 18-49
- "Chapter Eight" — 4.9 million viewers; 3.4 million viewers 18-49
- "Chapter Nine" — 4.6 million viewers; 3.2 million viewers 18-49
One interpretation of the decrease in numbers as each episode went by is that fans weren't impressed and stopped watching, but another interpretation is that fans intentionally limited themselves to how many episodes they watched in order to savor the experience.
"Our approach is using the exact same framework and methodology that we do for all of television," Nielsen representative Brian Fuhrer told The Hollywood Reporter. "You can put these Netflix and broadcast numbers right next to one another and understand the relationship."
As a comparison, the Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead scored only 15 million viewers in the three-day window, giving Stranger Things 2 the bigger audience. This achievement by Netflix is significant, given how the AMC series has dominated the world of genre television in recent years.
We shouldn't expect to see The Walking Dead shaking in their undead boots, but this is a significant win for Netflix and could signal the beginning of the end for the Robert Kirkman-created zombie drama.
[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]