One of the most fascinating things about Netflix’s surprise sensation Squid Game has got to be the way it continues to influence the world around it. From the sale of white Vans sneakers going through the roof, people around the world conducting their own version of the competition (without the death) to an increase in searches for hotel stays that evoke the design elements of the series, Squid Game has taken over every aspect of our lives.
And no one has reaped the benefits of this more than Netflix itself, which has reported a 2021 third-quarter boost of 4.38 million paid subscribers to reach 213.6 million worldwide. That figure is in contrast to the 3.5 million paid subscribers the streamer projected it would gain in the quarter.
And the company has the South Korean smash hit, in part, thank for this uptick in members, after the series (which launched on the platform in September) became Netflix’s biggest-ever original TV show in its first month of release, bumping previous victor Bridgerton, and its 82 million views, off of its throne.
The streaming giant has revealed that 142 million member households globally have chosen to watch Squid Game in its first four weeks. While that number only counts people who watched at least two minutes of an episode, that is yet another thing that is set to change thanks to the hyper-violent series.
Netflix will begin to move away from measuring a show’s success with the two-minute engagement method and instead shift to the total hours viewed within 28 days of release.
In a letter to shareholders, the streamer explained the decision saying, “We think engagement, as measured by hours viewed, is a slightly better indicator of the overall success of our titles and member satisfaction.
“It also matches how outside services measure TV viewing and gives proper credit to rewatching.”
In addition to changing the rating metrics, Netflix has also vowed to be more transparent when it comes to sharing viewership data (something it has been historically secretive about), promising to release the hours viewed counts more regularly “so our members and the industry can better measure success in the streaming world.”
The news of these changes come after it was reported that Squid Game could generate $900 million in value for the company despite costing only $21.4 million to produce.
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According to Bloomberg, who first reported the expected windfall, while Netflix doesn’t generate sales based on specific titles, it does have “a wealth of data concerning what its customers watch, which the company uses to determine the value derived from individual programs.”
Bloomberg also relayed that based on the data Netflix has provided, people have spent more than 1.4 billion hours watching the show, so perhaps it’s unsurprising that it has permeated every crevice of pop culture, fashion and travel.
It seems safe to say that Netflix will now be on the hunt for similar content that can be produced for a small cost, generate millions in revenue and ignite important conversations around the world so it will be interesting to see what shape that may take when and if they find it.
In the meantime, there is every hope among fans that the series will be greenlit for a second season (it almost certainly will be) so we can explore more of the themes that captivated us the first time around.