Squid Game is the fall’s biggest surprise hit, and it’s paying major dividends for Netflix. In its third-quarter financial results, the streaming giant reported reaching 214 million subscribers worldwide as its revenue grew 16% year-over-year to $7.5 billion.
Netflix added 4.4 million paid subscribers in that period, which is in large part attributed to the success of Squid Game. According to Netflix, a “mind-boggling” 142 million households have watched the popular Korean drama, which debuted back in September. Now Netflix’s “biggest TV show ever,” Squid Game is the platform’s number one show in 94 countries, and is reportedly worth $900 million to the streaming giant.
Outside of Squid Game, Netflix highlighted Money Heist and Sex Education, which attracted 69 million and 55 million households respectively.
Netflix’s success with Squid Game contrasts with the recent controversy over its Dave Chappelle special, which led to internal protests from transgender employees and the dismissal of at least one organizer. Chapelle’s special was accused of being harmful and transphobic, leading to criticism from figures such as comedian Hannah Gadsby.
Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Netflix can look forward to the release of The Witcher Season 2, the follow-up to one of the breakout hits of 2019. It’s set to premiere on December 17. Netflix also recently acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company, potentially paving the way for shows and movies based around James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and other popular shows.
Netflix Spotlight: October 2021
In the meantime, Netflix says that it’s changing how it’s reporting viewership data, shifting from total households to hours viewed.
“There is some difference in rankings, as you see below, but we think engagement as measured by hours viewed is a slightly better indicator of the overall success of our titles and member satisfaction,” Netflix wrote in its letter to shareholders. “It also matches how outside services measure TV viewing and gives proper credit to rewatching. In addition, we will start to release title metrics more regularly outside of our earnings report so our members and the industry can better measure success in the streaming world.”
For more info on what to expect in the world entertainment, check out IGN’s Fall TV 2021 Streaming Preview, where we highlight all the biggest shows for the rest of the year.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN