Netflix’s Squid Game could be its biggest show ever

At a time when most entertainment companies keep important viewership data opaque, Netflix has recently vowed “to be more transparent with the market and talent and everybody.” The company’s Co-CEO Ted Sarandos presented new ranked data on Netflix’s top shows and movies during the Code Conference in Beverly Hills, revealing that popular series like Bridgerton (Season 1) and Money Heist (Season 4) saw well over 600 million view hours from subscribers during their first 28 days on Netflix.

From an accounts perspective, Bridgerton was the most successful show with 82 million subscribers tuning in to watch at least two minutes in the first 28 days – meaning that over 40% of all 200 million-plus subscribers gave the show a chance.

As impressive as that is, South Korean thriller/drama Squid Game is on pace to become Netflix’s top show ever, according to Sarandos. The series has been dominating social media as well; the hashtag #SquidGame has been viewed more than 22.8 billion times on TikTok as of early October.

Drama has been fueling much of Netflix’s success when considering other hit shows like The Queen’s Gambit, Lupin, or gaming-inspired content such as Stranger Things (which is connected to Dungeons & Dragons) or The Witcher. In fact, according to Interpret’s VideoWatch™, drama has been the second most popular genre watched across a variety of streaming services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Comedy ranks as No.1, which makes sense given that many people have sought more lighthearted fare during these challenging times. For example, the entire classic sitcom Seinfeld recently arrived on Netflix, which the company reportedly paid $500 million for. Meanwhile, HBO Max recently aired a Friends: The Reunion special and offers subscribers access to all Friends episodes.

As the streaming wars escalate, we’re likely to see Netflix and others look beyond Hollywood to scour the globe (literally) for fresh content. International shows are proving to be quite lucrative, as Squid Game (South Korea), Money Heist (Spain), and Lupin (France) have already demonstrated.