Netflix still hasn’t released any official numbers for its series, but Nielsen’s first batch of ratings for the streaming service’s series confirms what we’ve known for quite some time: Stranger Things 2 is very popular.
According to Nielsen’s ratings, Stranger Things 2’s premiere was watched by 15.8 million people over the first three days. To put that into context, The Walking Dead’s season eight premiere, which also marked its celebratory 100th episode, pulled in 15 million viewers within the same period. While that marks the weakest season premiere The Walking Dead has had since its third season, it’s unclear just how many people watched Stranger Things’ series premiere in a three-day period.
AdWeek reported that the first, second and third episodes of Stranger Things 2 attracted more than 10 million viewers within the first three days of the show’s release. The remaining six episodes were seen by less than 10 million, which could point to a couple of scenarios, the most likely being that people aren’t sitting down to marathon the series. Since all nine episodes were released at once, it’s hard to know if spreading out the episodes would have impacted viewership.
It should be noted that despite Nielsen’s record and reputation for reporting viewership, the company has stated that the data “is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.” Netflix has not released viewership numbers for its series in the past, and its chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, has never suggested that it will.
“Ratings and reporting on ratings are an important part of the industry," Sarandos said during a press conference last year. "But the focus of ratings has no importance to us.”
Polygon has reached out for comment on these specific numbers.
Stranger Things 2 is available to stream on Netflix now.