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Netflix fans around the world have spent a staggering amount of time watching just 1 show

Updated 6 months ago
Published May 31st, 2022 11:23PM EDT
stranger things 4
Image: Netflix

The once-a-week Netflix top 10 lists that the streamer publishes every Tuesday afternoon always offer a fun and data-heavy look at what’s most popular on the platform around the world. The data that the company just published today, in fact, reveals an impressive and pretty newsworthy tidbit:

Stranger Things Season 4, which only debuted on the platform on Friday, May 27, actually broke the streamer’s all-time record for the biggest premiere weekend ever. Consider this: This week’s Netflix Top 10 list reveals that the 10 most-watched English shows globally garnered, collectively, 514.9 million hours of viewing time on the platform.

Of that total, more than half was attributable to just one season of one show — Stranger Things Season 4, which was responsible for 286.7 million hours viewed. A number that’s all the more staggering, when you consider that the viewing time only covers three days: Friday, May 27, the new season’s release day, through Sunday, May 29.

Stranger Things season 4 is out now

Moreover, this week’s Netflix Top 10 list also shows an unsurprising knock-on effect from the popularity of the new season of Stranger Things.

The arrival of the show’s long-awaited fourth season also gave a lift to the previous three seasons on the streamer, such that, as you can see in the chart below, each individual season of the show occupies a separate spot on the Top 10 list.

netflix top 10 list

Since that infographic doesn’t specify which season of the show occupies which spot on the ranking, I’ll do that here:

  • The original season of Stranger Things is #3 this week, with a little more than 38 million hours viewed globally for the 7-day period ending May 29.
  • Stranger Things 3 comes in at #4, with 24.2 million hours viewed globally.
  • And Stranger Things 2 is at #5, with 22.2 million hours viewed globally.

Oh, and speaking of the new season, by the way? Make sure that when you finish the new season of Stranger Things you stick around for the post-credits scene. As my colleague Chris Smith has noted, it’s actually the first teaser trailer for Stranger Things 4: Volume 2.

Netflix Top 10 list

Something else we should point out, meanwhile, is the fact that the Top 10 rankings inside the Netflix app serve a purpose similar to the data above. The rankings inside the app, however, are US-specific. The global Netflix Top 10 data is an analysis of the streaming activity of subscribers around the world, in order to quantify the top English and non-English movies and TV shows. As such, it gives a more comprehensive look at how content is faring across the entirety of Netflix’s subscriber base.

Millie Bobby Brown with two men
Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” Image source: Netflix

You can check out the full Netflix ranking of this week’s top English-language shows worldwide below. And one final point:

In my opinion, this list will provide plenty of fodder for Netflix cynics. Specifically, because of the fact that most of the list consists of older Netflix originals. Stranger Things is a 6-year-old show, in other words, that Netflix subscribers are excited about. And it’s hard to think of many more, outside of something like Bridgerton, that have created a similar fandom.

The streamer definitely needs more (and newer) hits to justify moves like, for example, cracking down on password-sharing.

Top 10 English-language TV shows (May 23-29)

  1. Stranger Things 4 — 286.7 million hours viewed
  2. The Lincoln Lawyer: Season 1 — 64.8 million hours viewed
  3. First season of Stranger Things — 38 million hours viewed
  4. Stranger Things 3 — 24.2 million hours viewed
  5. Stranger Things 2 — 22.2 million hours viewed
  6. Ozark: Season 4 — 21.9 million hours viewed
  7. The Boss Baby — Back in the Crib: Season 1 — 19.8 million hours viewed
  8. Love, Death, & Robots: Volume 3 — 15.3 million hours viewed
  9. Bridgerton: Season 2 — 11.3 million hours viewed
  10. The Circle: Season 4 — 10.2 million hours viewed

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

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Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.