Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
'Squid Game' is Netflix's 'biggest ever' series launch. Here's why.
spotlight

'Squid Game' is Netflix's 'biggest ever' series launch. Here's why.

  • 0

Hit South Korean show "Squid Game" has officially become Netflix's biggest original series launch, the streaming service said on Wednesday. Flora Bradley-Watson reports.

"Squid Game" — a fictional drama from South Korea — is Netflix's "biggest-ever series at launch," the streaming company exclusively told CNN on Tuesday.

The dystopian series, in which contestants who are deeply in need of money play deadly children's games to win cash prizes, has been viewed by 111 million accounts since debuting on Netflix Sept. 17.

To give that number some context, Netflix announced earlier this year that 82 million households watched "Bridgerton" in the first 28 days following its Christmas debut. "Squid Game" surpassed that number in a shorter amount of time.

The series is No. 1 on Netflix's Top 10 lists in 94 countries around the world. It's the platform's first-ever Korean series to reach No. 1 in the United States.

The numbers speak to the sheer size of "Squid Games'" popularity and the speed at which it took off. But Netflix's — and all streaming services' — ratings data comes with some important caveats.

Exclusive: Squid Game is Netflix's 'biggest ever' series launch

"Squid Game" — a fictional drama from South Korea — is Netflix's "biggest-ever series at launch," the streaming company exclusively told CNN Tuesday.

For starters, these numbers are from Netflix itself and have not be vetted by any outside sources. Also, that 111 million figure doesn't mean everyone watched the series from start to finish. It is based on Netflix's metric of accounts watching at least two minutes of the series.

Regardless of Netflix's often opaque accounting of its shows' popularity, the important context is that the streaming giant's competition is growing fiercer by the day, and "Squid Game" shows Netflix remains on top for a reason.

For investors, as long as Netflix keeps adding subscribers, Wall Street will likely continue to be happy. "Squid Game" has hit the zeitgeist in a significant way, and buzz is the best means to attract new subscribers and keep current ones happy. The series has also earned great reviews, garnering a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Like many top streaming series, "Squid Game" has become a pop culture phenomenon. The series has generated memes and even Halloween costume ideas.

The success of "Squid Game" speaks to Netflix's ability to craft a worldwide hit. Netflix has 209 million subscribers and the company has worked to reach audiences on a global scale.

"When we first started investing in Korean series and films in 2015, we knew we wanted to make world-class stories for the core K-content fans across Asia and the world," said Minyoung Kim, Netflix's vice president of content for Asia Pacific, excluding India. "Today, Squid Game has broken through beyond our wildest dreams."

"'Squid Game' gave [Netflix] more confidence that our global strategy is going towards the right direction," Kim told CNN.

***

The-CNN-Wire

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

When widower Frank finds a picture of his first love, Claire, his young friend Megan, proprietor of the cafe he frequents, convinces him to go on a road trip to track her down. Though reluctant, Frank agrees to the trip when he sees that it might help Megan recover from her recently broken engagement. The two set off on their adventure and find themselves opening up to each other. Along the way, Megan has an awkward run-in with a man and his dog that she can't seem to shake off. The pair soon arrive at Claire's address only to find the home vacant. Not deterred from their search, they stay at a nearby lodge where a surreptitious clue ultimately leads the pair to Claire. However, when they don't get the reception they expected, the story of how Frank's first love ended slowly reveals itself. Meanwhile, Megan learns that the man she'd met earlier, Steve, is the lodge's owner. She helps him with some of his holiday responsibilities and they soon warm to each other and find that they are each grappling with their hopes for the future. As Megan helps Frank pursue a second chance at love and he reminds her not to give up on her dreams or her heart, these unlikely friends find that sometimes the closest family is the kind we make.

  • Updated

Real estate development executive Ethan Holt is a married father with two teens. On Christmas Eve, Ethan is disappointed to learn he's losing out on a promotion and laments that his "nice guy" way of doing business has held him back in his career. Thanks to some Christmas magic, Ethan's casual wish that his life had taken a different course becomes reality. He wakes up the next morning and is shocked to find everything is different — he isn't married to Joyce, he doesn't have two teenaged kids and he's CEO of his company. Joyce is the key to Ethan being able to reclaim his original life and the family he loves — he must convince her that their happily-ever-after is waiting for them ...and he only has until Christmas Day.

  • Updated

Claire is an aspiring talent booker who's been working at her family's hotel and casino in Lake Tahoe and is on the brink of landing a prestigious job with a major Las Vegas venue. But when the act she booked for her the hotel on Christmas Eve backs out last minute, she is back to square one. Jackson, her best friend and the concierge, reminds Claire that she knows someone famous to turn to — her ex-boyfriend Ryan, is the lead guitarist for a hugely popular band. Though Claire helped Ryan's band break out initially, the two haven't spoken since they cut her loose in favor of a bigger management company. Back home in Tahoe on a break from his tour to spend the holidays in Tahoe with his family, Ryan offers to help her find a replacement act. While Claire tries to prove she has put the past behind her, feelings come back to the surface and they both realize they may need each other more than they remembered.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics