The Stranger Things 2 ratings have come in from Nielsen, and they are massive! The premiere episode of its sophomore season was a huge hit, bringing in The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones-sized viewership numbers. This news would send any studio executive to their liquor cabinet for a celebratory drink, but the folks over at Netflix are debating the report’s validity.
According to Variety, each episode of this season was seen by over 4 million people, with the premier episode drawing in 15.8 million in the first three days. To put this into perspective, this season premiere of The Walking Dead was watched within the first week by 15.78 million viewers. These are clearly impressive numbers, even with the season-over-season deterioration of TWD’s audience. Netflix, however, isn’t happy and is denying that these numbers reflect their true audience.
Nielsen, the company that measures and reports the size of television audiences, announced in October that they would start recording the viewership audiences for our favorite streaming services. These SVOD (or, Subscription Video On Demand) Content Ratings are necessary for a lot of studios and networks that rely on advertising money to survive. Netflix is unimpressed, releasing a statement shortly after this new service was announced saying that “the data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix”.
Netflix has always kept their streaming information close to the vest. This attitude towards the Nielsen service may just be a byproduct of their secrecy. When you start to look at the numbers, however, they may have a point. First of all, the numbers released only include the streams from television sets. This means that anyone who watched Stranger Things 2 from a phone or a tablet were not included in the final tally. These ratings also do not include any of the international viewings of the show, meaning that over 50 million potential viewers are not a part of the report.
Whether you believe Nielsen’s numbers or not, it’s obvious that Stranger Things 2 has been a massive success for Netflix. Audiences all over the country have tuned in and binged this amazing show, becoming a true cultural phenomena. We are proud of the Duffer Brothers and Netflix and we cannot wait for Season 3!
Check out our recap of this season HERE and let us know what you think!