‘Stranger Things 3’ Audience Soars 21% Above Season 2’s Opening Weekend, Nielsen Says

Average-minute viewership was 12.8 million over July 4th holiday weekend

Stranger Things 3

Nielsen has released its own version of “Stranger Things 3” ratings, and while the numbers appear more modest than Netflix’s data, they’re still damn good.

An average-minute audience of 12.8 million viewers tuned in to Season 3 over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Nielsen said. That’s up 21% from Season 2.

From July 4 through July 7, 26.4 million unique viewers tuned in, 17% better than last year.

Netflix itself claimed that “Stranger Things 3” reached a record number of homes over the long weekend, reporting on Twitter that 40.7 million accounts watched at least part of the show’s third season. The streamer further said 18.2 million of those accounts finished all eight episodes in the first four days following launch.

While Netflix has previously said its global viewership numbers include anyone who has watched at least 70% of an episode or movie, Nielsen’s more conservative metric is an average of how many U.S. viewers tuned in per minute across the episode’s entire runtime. Nielsen also only accounts for set-top box viewings; mobile, tablet and laptop views are not included in its metric.

Broken down by episode, the Season 3 premiere predictably performed the best, with 8.9 million total viewers streaming the episode on the first day alone, according to Nielsen. Across the entire four-day weekend, the episode drew 19.2 million viewers. For comparison, the first episode of Season 2 was watched by 17.7 million total viewers in the same four-day period after its premiere.

See the totals for subsequent episodes in the chart below.

'Stranger Things 3' ratings per episode

As for the hardcore bingers, Nielsen says 824,000 U.S. viewers watched all eight episodes of the third season on Thursday, July 4.