Stranger Things Season 2 has only been only a few days, but the show has already amassed an audience that many broadcasters would dream of.
New figures from Nielsen (published by Variety) claim that the show’s sophomore run was watched by more than 16 million people in its opening weekend alone, as the streaming service’s all-at-once model encouraged fans to log on and binge their way through the nine episodes. The series, which is a nostalgic blend of retro 80s adventure, sci-fi and horror, became a sleeper hit last year when it was released during the typically quiet summer months. This year, it was bumped to a primetime October slot, perfectly positioned for Halloween and just enough of a delay to amplify the hype surrounding every aspect of the programme.
Nielsen’s data, then, comes as no surprise, revealing that 15.8 million viewers streamed the opening episode alone over the opening weekend. That figure declined steadily as the season progressed, falling to 13.7 million for Episode 2, 11.6 million for Episode 3 and 9.3 million for Episode 4. Each episode drew more than 4 million viewers, with over 3 million of those falling into its key adult demographic of 18 to 49 year olds.
Overall, the season averaged 8.8 million viewers per episode, with 6.2 million in the key demo. 361,000 people watched all nine episodes of the season within the first 24 hours of its release. In the US, people watched an average of 3 episodes at a time.
Netflix has warned that the data from Nielsen is not accurate, dismissing the analytics firm’s announcement of Netflix ratings as “not even close”. Indeed, it is understood that the figures do not take into account mobile viewing, which will be responsible for a significant number of younger users watching content.
Nonetheless, even taken with a pinch of salt, or treated as a minimum, the data confirms the show as a veritable pop culture phenomenon, with millions more likely to be added this coming weekend.
Still streaming Stranger Things? Read along with our binge-reviews of Season 2 here.