‘Stranger Things 2’ Is A Huge Hit, And We Finally Have An Idea Of How Many People Are Watching

Netflix is more secretive than Hawkins Laboratory.

The streaming service is subscription-, not advertising-based, and therefore refuses to release ratings for its shows. Is Orange Is the New Black more popular than 13 Reasons Why? Which of the many Marvel shows is the biggest? Why aren’t more people watching BoJack Horseman? We don’t know the answer to these questions (except the second one: “Not Iron Fist“), and that’s the way Netflix wants it. The only way of determining whether a Netflix original is a “hit” up to this point was through word of mouth. But Nielsen has been collecting data using audio recognition software to figure out viewership numbers, and the research company announced what we all suspected.

Stranger Things is very popular.

A whopping 361,000 U.S. viewers binge-watched all nine episodes of Stranger Things 2 on Netflix within the first day that the new season was made available. But perhaps more impressively, 15.8 million US viewers watched the first episode of Stranger Things 2 within the first three days. That puts it in the ballpark of cable TV’s biggest smash hits. And, all episodes of Stranger Things 2 averaged around 4 million U.S. viewers, according to the data. (Via)

That 15.8 million is on par with The Walking Dead‘s season eight premiere and the season seven finale of Game of Thrones within its first three days of broadcast. But notably, Nielsen can’t measure anyone who watches a Netflix show on a tablet, laptop, or phone, so the numbers are likely much higher (a spokesperson for Netflix said, “Their math might be from the Upside Down”).

For now, though, it’s the closest a third party has come to solving Netflix’s ever-mysterious ratings riddle. Maybe Nielsen can use their knowledge to figure out another streaming mystery: who did the dicks?

(Via Business Insider)