Stranger Things Just Shattered Nielsen’s Streaming Record

Something to keep in mind here, as THR points out, is that all the episodes in a series contribute to the rankings, but they suggest that most of the minutes of viewing likely came from season 4, volume 1 of “Stranger Things.” The highest minute total Nielsen has ever reported before was below six billion. “Tiger King” passed five billion twice, and “Ozark” once in 2020. 

Streaming services can be cagey about this stuff — not that I’m doubting that “Stranger Things” got a whole lot of minutes. I certainly watched it more than once. Streamers keep their info to themselves, and release the info they want, like percentages of viewership or the number of accounts watching a show. Each service has a different number of accounts, and with sharing (which they’re apparently cracking down on now over at Netflix), it’s really hard, in general, to know when things are being watched, and by whom, and for how long. It’s also difficult to know if something is a hit, how it compares to what the budget for the show is, or if viewership is the reason for shows that are canceled.

It’s not that I think “Stranger Things” wasn’t as big a success as they say. I mean, I’m a fan. I don’t know a lot of people who don’t watch. I’m glad it’s doing well. I can’t wait for season 5 (and to finish season 4), but I’m not really talking about this show. “Stranger Things” breaking a record tracks for me. I just want to know what ingredients go into the milkshake, so to speak. 

“Stranger Things” season 4 is currently streaming in its entirety on Netflix. 

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