“Squid Game” debuted to 206 million streaming minutes (in America) the week of Sept. 13 – Sept. 19, just barely missing Nielsen’s Top 10. Expect that to not be the case in the coming weeks, as Americans have caught on to the surprise Korean smash hit series.
“Squid Game” launched on Sept. 17, so it missed out on most of the measured week. There’s roughly a one-month delay in Nielsen’s reporting for streaming shows.
Nielsen (wisely) expects a “Tiger King”-like trajectory, in which word of mouth sees these earliest returns explode — and quickly. That’s not exactly going out on a limb, however, as Netflix itself has said “Squid Game” is now its largest original series, destroying “Bridgerton” in the process.
The No. 1 original SVOD program for the measured week was Netflix’s “Lucifer,” which nabbed nearly 1.6 billion streaming minutes. No. 10 was Netflix’s “Money Heist,” which had 224 million minutes streamed.
According to Netflix, the South Korean-produced thriller has been viewed by 111 million accounts since its launch. “Squid Game” is Netflix’s first to reach 100 million viewers within its premiere window. It should be noted that Netflix counts a view as someone who watched at least two minutes, so we don’t know how many of those 111 million accounts finished the series. But it’s a hit for Netflix nonetheless.
“Squid Game” is currently No. 1 on Netflix’s Top 10 list in 94 countries, or another way of putting it: The show holds the top spot in every country where Netflix even has a Top 10 list. In the U.S., it’s held the top spot for 21 straight days. Not only is it the first Korean series to land at No. 1, it’s now the longest-running series to hold that spot.
So yea, expect this show to rocket up the Nielsen charts as the weeks go on.
Hwang Dong-hyuk (“The Crucible”) wrote, directed and created “Squid Game,” which centers on a group of 456 people who are in such financial peril that they agree to compete in a series of deadly children’s games. The show, which plays like a cross between “Black Mirror” and “The Hunger Games,” includes Lee Byung-hun (“Terminator Genisys,” “The Magnificent Seven”) and Lee Jung-jae (“City of the Rising Sun”), who built a following outside South Korea, as well as local stars like Park Hae-soo, O Yeong-su, Wi Ha-joon, Jung Ho-yeon, Hao Sung-tae and Kim Joo-ryoung.