Stranger Things 3 is breaking records, according to Netflix. More than 40 million households have watched it in its first four days. Is that a lot?
Netflix viewing records
The third season of hit series Stranger Things, a nostalgic nod to the 80's sci-fi, has been watched by over 40 million households four days after the premiere. The company says that members must watch at least 70% of one episode to be counted.
- "Stranger Things 3 is breaking Netflix records! 40.7 million household accounts have been watching the show since its July 4 global launch — more than any other film or series in its first four days. And 18.2 million have already finished the entire season," the company said.
Netflix has historically refused to share viewership data but has in recent quarters started to release cherry-picked numbers that support the story of its succes. The company previously said that Bird Box (the movie) was watched by over 45 million accounts in the first week and over 80 million in the first four weeks.
Difficult to compare
How do these "record" viewership numbers from Netflix compare? Few other streaming services have the same near-global reach as Netflix. HBO's first episode of the last season of Game of Thrones was watched by approximately 17 million viewers in the US but the size of the global audience is not known.
Avengers: Endgame, which holds the box office record, grossed $1,223 billion dollars worldwide in its opening weekend. In the US, the average price of a movie ticket is around $9 dollars but it will differ in other countries around the world. With a ticket price between 5-10 dollars Avengers: Endgame will have been watched by 122-245 million people in its opening weekend.
It is not fair to compare ticket sales with viewership data from a subscription service since there are many variables such as costs, methodology (Netflix counts households) etc. However, it helps to give us a rough idea about how succesfull Netflix's shows are in a global context.