Nielsen recently launched an initiative to report viewership numbers from streaming services like Netflix, and now it’s offered up some numbers for the early days of “Stranger Things” Season 2.

The short version is a lot of people have watched it, in particular the first episode, but a decidedly smaller number has made it all the way to the end of the season. So contrary to the way it may seem on social media and in cutesy Netflix marketing-speak, not “everyone” raced through the show over the weekend.

The caveat here: While Nielsen measures streaming content, Netflix (and other providers like Amazon and Hulu) have never confirmed the numbers from it or any other measuring service. Netflix has in the past said the numbers are inaccurate since they measure only TV-set viewership and not people watching on other screens; it hasn’t commented yet on the “Stranger Things” numbers.

With that in mind, the headline number is that per Nielsen, 15.8 million people watched the Season 2 premiere from Friday to Sunday. That figure tails off some for each subsequent episode, suggesting that the number of people who’ve finished the season is far lower. Here’s the episode by episode breakdown:

  • Episode 1: 15.8 million
  • Episode 2: 13.7 millon
  • Episode 3: 11.6 million
  • Episode 4: 9.3 million
  • Episode 5: 8 million
  • Episode 6: 6.4 million
  • Episode 7: 5.3 million
  • Episode 8: 4.9 million
  • Episode 9: 4.6 million

The 4.6 million people who have seen the last episode is about 29 percent of the premiere audience, implying that a good chunk of the audience hasn’t yet finished watching (or dropped off somewhere along the way). As for true bingers, Nielsen says 361,000 people watched the whole season within 24 hours of its release.

For context, the 15.8 million viewers for the first episode over three days would probably rank it among the top 5 scripted shows for last week, regardless of delivery mode. Last week’s Live +3 ratings for broadcast and cable aren’t out yet, but in the previous week only “The Big Bang Theory” (16.52 million), “The Good Doctor” (16.09 million) and “NCIS” (15.84 million) had more.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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