Still A Hit, But Netflix, Nielsen Viewing Numbers For 'Stranger Things' Differ

While still yielding strong numbers for Netflix’s big TV series “Stranger Things” in season three, Nielsen analysis of individual viewing yields different data than the company reports.

Over the series initial three-day weekend for its third season -- July 4 through 7 -- the show’s average minute audience was 12.8 million U.S. viewers, reaching 26.4 million unique U.S. viewers, per Nielsen.

By way of comparison, Netflix says 40.7 million “household accounts” have watched season three of “Stranger Things” in four days. Netflix also said 18.2 million “accounts” have already finished the entire season.

Nielsen viewing data analyzes all episodes for season three of the show. It calls the show “the most-watched Netflix original series we’ve ever analyzed.”



Netflix typically releases all episodes of a show’s current season at the same time.

The four-day Nielsen mark for three season’s 12.8 million average minute audience is 21% higher than season two’s 10.6 million.

Just looking at the first episode of season three -- across four days -- the episode had an average minute audience of 19.2 million U.S. viewers, according to Nielsen. This compares with 17.7 million over a similar period  -- October 27, 2017 through October 30, 2017 -- for the series' initial episode of season two.

By way of a rough comparison to big ad-support TV network shows this past season, September to May: The final season of CBS’ “Big Bang Theory” averaged 17.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen’s live plus seven-day time-shifted average minute audience viewing for the entire 2018-2018 TV season.

Looking at ad-free TV shows, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” topped all series, averaging 15.3 million viewers for the season.

3 comments about "Still A Hit, But Netflix, Nielsen Viewing Numbers For 'Stranger Things' Differ".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 12, 2019 at 7:26 p.m.

    Just to add a bit of perspective, if Netflix has 60 million subscribing homes in the U.S. these households probably contain about three residents per home--as they tend to be younger than the population as a whole, hence they will have somewhat more residents than the norm. That means that 180 million Netflix subscribers and/or other household members could have watched this show---and I'm not counting people who gain access by using a subscriber's password but don't actually pay for the service. If Nielsen's estimate of 12.8 million average minute viewers for the three day weekend is correct---or close to correct---this means that a mere 7% of the Netfflix U.S. universe watched an average minute of this show on these days.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, July 12, 2019 at 7:36 p.m.

    Do you have the (now antiquated) Household ratings and reach?   It is the closest equivalent to an "account".

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 12, 2019 at 8:05 p.m.

    John, all that I have is what you see in Wayne's report.

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