stranger things 2

Photo via Stranger Things/Netflix

Nielsen reveals just how many people watched ‘Stranger Things’ season 2

It's a big hit for Netflix.


Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Nov 3, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 12:17 pm CDT

It’s been a week since Stranger Things’ second season dropped on Netflix, and now we’re starting to get a sense of how many viewers tuned in.

Netflix notoriously doesn’t release numbers on its viewership, but Nielsen—which measures ratings for television broadcasts—released its numbers on Stranger Things season 2 Thursday, the first time it’s done so with a Netflix show. And though they’re not definitive, they’re enough to indicate that Stranger Things is a bonafide hit for Netflix.

According to Nielsen, approximately 15.8 million people watched the season 2 premiere within the first three days of it debuting on the streaming service, making its numbers comparable to some of the most popular shows on TV such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, This Is Us, and The Big Bang Theory.

But even its overall numbers are impressive. Season 2 had around 4 million viewers in the U.S. while 361,000 viewers powered through the entire second season within 24 hours of its release.

Without providing viewership numbers of its own, Netflix disputed the ratings provided by Nielsen.

“Their math might be from the Upside Down,” a Netflix spokesperson said.

Netflix does have a bit of a point. Nielsen can only measure viewership from a TV, so any viewers who watched the show on laptops, tablets, or smartphones, and their totals only include U.S. viewers, so anybody watching Stranger Things outside of the U.S. won’t be counted either.

Still, it does give us a sense of just how big the runaway hit has become, and short of Netflix actually releasing this data it might be the only one we have. It’s big, yes, but now the numbers prove it.

H/T New York Times

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*First Published: Nov 3, 2017, 11:56 am CDT