We may be one step closer to cracking the Netflix ratings code
Credit: Netflix

Nielsen is reporting big new viewership numbers for season 2 of Netflix’s Stranger Things.

The research company, which reports daily on live and time-shifted viewership numbers for broadcast and cable series, had previously indicated it would be pushing to provide more accurate ratings data for streaming shows. Services including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon do not release viewership numbers for their programming.

Nielsen recently launched an SVOD measurement system, and on Thursday, the company reported its first official SVOD ratings estimates for Stranger Things. They’re citing a massive audience of 15.8 million viewers for the sequel’s premiere episode, within the first three days of its launch. For reference, Nielsen says the second season premiere of This Is Us, a network show available for free, reached 17.8 million in Live+3 viewing.

The numbers, unsurprisingly, fell off from there for the Duffer Brothers drama, with only two additional episodes crossing the 10-million mark in that initial three-day span. However, all nine episodes of Stranger Things 2 have been watched by at least 4 million viewers, and as for those who binged, Nielsen has some data too: The company says 361,000 Netflix subscribers watched all nine episodes within 24 hours of its Friday launch.

The inability of observers to accurately gauge the viewership of Netflix programming has proven frustrating for years. Until recently, the streaming service had been canceling almost none of its programming, making it difficult to measure success. Thursday’s Nielsen report marks the most significant ratings data for the streaming service to date.

“Our approach is using the exact same framework and methodology that we do for all of television,” Brian Fuhrer, Nielsen’s senior VP of product leadership at Nielsen, recently told the Hollywood Reporter. “You can put these Netflix and broadcast numbers right next to one another and understand the relationship.”

See below for Nielsen’s full viewership numbers for Stranger Things 2.

  • “Chapter One” — 15.8 million viewers
  • “Chapter Two” — 13.7 million viewers
  • “Chapter Three” — 11.6 million viewers
  • “Chapter Four” — 9.3 million viewers
  • “Chapter Five” — 8 million viewers
  • “Chapter Six” — 6.4 million viewers
  • “Chapter Seven” — 5.3 million viewers
  • “Chapter Eight” — 4.9 million viewers
  • “Chapter Nine” — 4.6 million viewers

Episode Recaps

Stranger Things 2
Stranger Things

Netflix’s hit sci-fi series follows a group of kids in the '80s battling supernatural forces in Hawkins, Ind.

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