The series premise was about a “winner takes all scenario,” but the big winner as far as the Korean drama series Squid Game is concerned is streaming media service Netflix.
The dystopian drama recently dethroned British-American period drama Bridgerton and Spanish series La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) as Netflix’s biggest customer draw. It reached more than 142 million households globally in the first four weeks of its run on the platform.
At Netflix’s quarterly earnings call with the international news media, platform executives noted that viewership for Squid Game jumped by 111 million during the second week of October through the “Choose to Watch” metric.
Choose to Watch only requires viewers to watch a few minutes of a show’s episode to be counted. However, the surrealistic show’s impact cannot be denied. It now ranks number one in Netflix’s global top ten.
As of October 20, 2021, Netflix’s top ten series and their respective viewership are as follows:
- Squid Game: Season 1 (142 million)
- Bridgerton: Season 1 (82 million)
- Lupin: Part 1 (76 million)
- The Witcher: Season 1 (76 million)
- Sex/Life: Season 1 (67 million)
- Stranger Things: Season 3 (67 million)
- Money Heist: Part 4 (65 million)
- Tiger King: Season 1 (64 million)
- The Queen’s Gambit: Limited Series (62 million)
- Sweet Tooth: Season 1 (60 million)
Squid Game is also considered one of Netflix’s biggest money-makers of all time, earning the platform over $900 million against a production budget of just $21.4 million.
The company has also noted that non-English productions have been ranking among its top performers. According to a statement sent to shareholders, the platform is now producing local television shows, specials, and films in around 45 countries, establishing and strengthening relationships with local creative communities.
Will there be a Season Two?
While Squid Game fans are waiting on tenterhooks for the next chapter in the series, Netflix has yet to announce whether or not it has greenlit a second season as they were not expecting such a massive reaction from their global audience.
Entertainment industry insiders opine that writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk is in an ideal situation when it comes to negotiating for production budgets and casting. However, Hwang himself admits that he, too, was taken off-guard and will need assistance to plan, write, and direct another season as he never thought about planning beyond his current storyline.
Poised for growth in the Fourth Quarter
Netflix rallied through a rather slow start earlier this year and is expected to grow its customer base by an additional 8.5 million subscribers as 2021 draws to a close.
New seasons of existing shows like the controversial Tiger King and the Karate Kid sequel Cobra Kai are also expected to pull in new subscribers.
The company’s recent agreement to acquire the Roald Dahl Story Company may also play a role in its future growth, as it will own the rights to classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and James and the Giant Peach.