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‘Squid Game’ officially had the biggest Netflix original launch ever

Published Oct 13th, 2021 2:57PM EDT
Squid Game
Image: Netflix

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The legend of Netflix’s new series Squid Game continues to grow in the days following its release. On Tuesday, Netflix Geeked on Twitter announced that 111 million global accounts have started watching Squid Game. This makes the South Korean thriller the first Netflix original series to surpass 100 million viewers during its launch window. Notably, it only took Squid Game 17 days to reach such a milestone. Netflix typically measures a show’s launch window as its first 28 days on the service.

Squid Game has Netflix’s biggest launch ever

Netflix recently revealed its top 10 original series of all time during the 2021 Code conference. Keep in mind that these figures below represent the number of accounts that watched at least two minutes of any episode within the show’s first 28 days on the streaming service:

  1. Bridgerton Season 1: 82 million accounts
  2. Lupin Part 1: 76 million accounts
  3. The Witcher Season 1: 76 million accounts
  4. Sex/Life Season 1: 67 million accounts
  5. Stranger Things 3: 67 million accounts
  6. Money Heist Part 4: 65 million accounts
  7. Tiger King Season 1: 64 million accounts
  8. The Queen’s Gambit: 62 million accounts
  9. Sweet Tooth Season 1: 60 million accounts
  10. Emily in Paris Season 1: 58 million accounts

As you can see, Squid Game blew all of these shows out of the water. In fact, it seemingly took around two weeks for the show to break the record. Squid Game started streaming on September 17th, which means it’s still only been on Netflix for 26 days. There’s no telling how many more subscribers have spent at least two minutes watching the show in the past nine days.

Despite being a foreign-language series that arrived without much fanfare, Squid Game is going to go down as the biggest Netflix original in the service’s history. A Netflix spokesperson told The Verge that the series has reached the number one spot on the top 10 list in 94 countries. That’s every country in which Netflix features a top 10 list. Squid Game has also topped the list in the US for 21 days straight. That’s the longest any foreign-language show has ever stayed in that position.

“Before, with older media, when one country’s filmmaker wanted to go to bring their film to another country, there were a lot of barriers with time and language,” Squid Game writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk told IndieWire. “For example, if it’s a Korean movie venturing into the U.S. market, we had to go to the film festivals and find a distributor in the U.S. But now we have streaming services and YouTube, so we have the infrastructure to go global in everything that we make. I think now if there’s good content, the global audience is just waiting to watch it. I think ‘Squid Game’ is proof that this is possible. The only possible problem that’s left could be the language barrier, but I think people are warming up to that, as well.”

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.