Stranger Things 4, the most recent season of the hit show, just became the second Netflix show ever to surpass a billion hours viewed. Since the first installment of the season dropped on May 27th, viewers have spent a cumulative 1.15 billion hours watching the season’s nine episodes, including 301 million hours just this past weekend. That makes Stranger Things 4 the second most-watched Netflix season ever, after Squid Game in 2021. It was in Netflix’s Top 10 in 93 different countries this weekend, the company says. The show is so popular right now that it’s boosting the older seasons, too: all four Stranger Things seasons were in Netflix’s six most-watched shows over the weekend, with only The Umbrella Academy able to keep up.
Netflix’s viewership measurement system is notoriously weird and confusing. The service tracks how much a show is viewed in the first 28 days after its release, but those numbers vary widely based on how the episodes are released, how long they are, and a bunch of other factors.
If anything, you could argue that Stranger Things‘success just underscores how huge Squid Game really was: Stranger Things 4 is hours longer than Squid Game and had a months-long marketing strategy behind it, and Squid Game still trumped it with 1.65 billion hours viewed. Stranger Things could still catch it, though; Netflix’s numbers will no longer count the first batch of episodes, but the most recent two still have a few weeks to pick up viewer hours. Those episodes are long, too — like, long-movie long — which gives the show an even better shot at the top spot. (Like I said, the measurement is confusing.)
So you shouldn’t read too much into the specifics other than to say with great confidence that the current season of Stranger Things is very popular. It’s also very good, and sets the show up for a huge conclusion next season. And it’s the kind of enduring franchise that Netflix has been desperate to build in recent years, so you should expect the company to keep pulling out all the stops to make people care about what happens in Hawkins, Indiana.
So you can only assume that Stranger Things 5 is going to be huge.