Squid Game was such a massive and unexpected global phenomenon, and leagues above anything Netflix had ever aired in terms of viewership, it seemed like nothing could ever catch it.
Now, for the first time, something may at least have a chance.
That would be Stranger Things season 4, where Netflix has now revealed that in its first 24 days of release it got 883.3 million hours watched, compared to Squid Game’s 1.6 billion hours in 28 days.
While it seems unlikely he’ll drop from second place in four days, you might realize there’s a catch here. Stranger Things only aired Part 1 of season 4, where part 2 will debut on July 1, and even though it’s only two more episodes, they total four more hours of viewing.
Netflix has already said what they will and won’t count. The 28-day clock will start counting from July 1, but only for these two episodes. While Part 1 views will count towards the grand total (and last time we checked, Squid Game’s lifetime views are around 2.2 billion hours), they won’t add up to the overall total. 28 day counter. The will of part 2, in these 28 days.
So there will have to be both a push in the last four days here, plus a lot of people watching these last two episodes. Not just once, but maybe a few times. Otherwise, given that 9 a.m. of the 1 p.m. season has already aired, it’s going to be tight. Doing some math, if everyone who watched the first batch of episodes watches the second, it should still be less than Squid Game’s total, maybe a few hundred million hours. It’s sure to top 1 billion hours watched, a crazy stat in its own right, and it’ll easily have the record for an English series, but Squid Game could end up tops when it’s all over.
Of course, Stranger Things will have one last chance to beat Squid Game when it returns for Season 5, its final season, in a year or two. Squid Game itself returns, likely in 2024, for a second season, but I’d be a little surprised if it tops the first, even if other shows rack up viewership increases over time. But we will have to see. It just seems like it would be hard for lightning to strike twice like that, considering the show was never supposed to have a second season in the first place.
We’ll find out more about all of this when Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2 arrives. More soon.
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