Bridgerton Is Netflix’s Most Popular Show To Date (According To Netflix)

netflixit is Bridgerton was watched by more than 82 million accounts in its first month, making the soapy period drama the service’s biggest series to date, netflix said Thursday. This would put Bridgerton ahead of The Witcher, followed by Lupineso stranger things‘ third season and the fourth season of Money theft to round out the top five most popular Netflix original series.

Netflix popularity numbers always need disclaimers.

For starters, Netflix counts a show as watched after two minutes. It’s a much more generous standard than, for example, Nielsen uses to gauge viewership for broadcasts on regular television. Netflix has argued in the past that it’s not necessary to adhere to legacy television standards like Nielsen’s, which were developed to measure advertising reach. Netflix, after all, has no ads.

Still, Bridgerton, which recounts torrid romances between debutantes and their suitors, reaches the two-minute mark before the viewer has seen one of the two characters of the series’ main couple. Watching two minutes of Bridgerton means you watched 0.4% of Bridgerton.

Netflix’s stats are also not independently verified, nor are they backed by detailed data from the company, which puts Netflix in the position of picking highlights with little transparency. Traditional media companies, on the other hand, have their box office performance independently monitored and are at the mercy of third parties like Nielsen as a barometer of TV shows.

Netflix declined to comment.

For years, Netflix was notoriously tight-lipped about viewership numbers. The creator of Card castle, who put Netflix’s original content efforts on the map, once said the company wouldn’t even share viewership stats with him. But over the past two years, Netflix has become much more vocal about the popularity of its shows and movies to help recruit talent and generate buzz. Netflix has also added a top trending ranking to its service, so people can see what the most popular titles are streaming on Netflix in their country each day.

But Netflix’s viewership stats have infuriated parts of the TV industry for not being verified, unsupported, and released without much accountability. Even Netflix’s latest Bridgerton numbers contradict what Netflix projected just three weeks earlier. On January 5, Netflix said it expected Bridgerton’s first month viewership to be 63 million accounts. Thursday’s final figure differs by 30%.

But as Netflix grows, so do its shows. At the end of last year, Netflix surpassed 200 million members worldwide, further cementing its dominance in subscription streaming video. Growing its total subscriber base globally, the biggest hits on Netflix each year tend to get bigger than the ones that came before them.

Bridgerton, for example, ranked in the top 10 of all streaming titles on Netflix in every country the service operates in except Japan; Bridgerton reached No. 1 at some point in 83 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, France, India and South Africa.

To compare Bridgerton’s popularity to previous Netflix viewership stats, disclosures of previous titles are listed below. All of the following figures are for the first four weeks of title releases using the two-minute metric, excluding Netflix screenings, where applicable:

  • Extractionan action movie starring Chris Hemsworth – 99 million accounts.
  • bird boxa post-apocalyptic film starring Sandra Bullock — more than 89 million accounts.
  • Spenser Confidentialan action comedy starring Mark Wahlberg — 85 million accounts.
  • 6 Undergrounda Michael Bay Blast Festival with Ryan Reynolds — 83 million accounts.
  • Bridgerton — 82 million accounts.
  • The old guardan action thriller — 78 million accounts.
  • Enola Holmesa period detective film – 76 million screened accounts.
  • Season 1 of the witchera fantasy series based on an existing franchise of books and video games — 76 million accounts.
  • Project Powera dark superhero movie – 75 million accounts.
  • Murder Mysterya comedy starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston — 73 million accounts.
  • The midnight skya sci-fi film directed and starring George Clooney – 72 million screened accounts.
  • Season 1 of Lupinea series of French burglaries – 70 million accounts projected.
  • Holidaysa Christmas-themed romantic comedy — 68 million accounts.
  • Kiss the cabin 2a romantic comedy film for teens – 66 million accounts.
  • Part 4 of Money Heistor Money Heist, a thriller series in Spanish – 65 million accounts expected.
  • The Irishmana period epic about the Mafia, directed by Martin Scorsese – 64 million accounts.
  • tiger kinga viral docuseries — 64 million households.
  • Triple Frontieran action/heist film starring Ben Affleck — 63 million accounts.
  • The Queen’s Beta limited series about a chess prodigy – 62 million accounts.
  • The Christmas Chronicles: Part Twoa sequel to the Santa Claus adventure movie – 61 million accounts.
  • The bad missa romantic comedy with David Spade and Lauren Lapkus – 59 million accounts.
  • The platforma Spanish sci-fi horror film — 56 million accounts.
  • Season 2 of Youa series of psychological thrillers – 54 million accounts expected.
  • We can be heroesthe superhero kids action movie – 53 million projected accounts.
  • American Murder: The Family Next Doora true crime documentary film — 52 million stories screened.
  • Seasons 1 and 2 of Cobra Kaia reboot series of The Karate Kid – 50 million accounts.
  • The perfect datea romantic comedy for teens – 48 million accounts.
  • Season 1 of Pawla series of psychological thrillers — 48 million accounts.
  • above the moonan animated film about a girl traveling to a mythical land – 43 million accounts.
  • Season 2 of Umbrella Academya series of superheroes — 43 million accounts.
  • Klausan Oscar-nominated holiday animated film – 40 million accounts.
  • Season 5 of Lucifera series of fantastic police procedures – 38 million accounts.
  • The social dilemmaa documentary about social media companies – 38 million accounts
  • Season 1 of Barbariansa German historical action series – 37 million accounts.
  • Season 1 of Love is blinda series of dating contests – 30 million.
  • Just another ChristmasNetflix’s first Portuguese-language holiday movie – 26 million accounts.
  • Part 1 of Selena: the seriesa program in Spanish about the famous singer – 25 million accounts.
  • Season 1 of sweet homea Korean-language horror show — 22 million accounts.
  • Season 3 of The crowna historical drama series — 21 million accounts.
  • Season 1 of Alice in Borderlandsa sci-fi thriller series in Japanese — 18 million accounts.

Prior to this year, Netflix counted views differently. Netflix would count something as “watched” when you’ve gone through 70% of either a series’ first episode or a movie’s total run time. Netflix says the new two-minute threshold is fairer for all titles, regardless of length. But it also means that the new stats have inflated viewership by about a third compared to the old ones.

These are past audience statistics under the old rules. These are figures released by Netflix (or projected, as applicable) for the first four weeks of release.

  • stranger things season 3, a retro sci-fi series — 64 million homes.
  • Umbrella Academya series of superheroes – 45 million homes.
  • Tall girla romantic comedy movie for teens – 41 million households.
  • Sex educationa British teen drama — more than 40 million households.
  • highway robbersa period detective film starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson — more than 40 million homes.
  • secret obsessiona mystery film about a young woman with amnesia — 40 million views.
  • Our planeta BBC-style nature documentary series — 33 million homes.
  • Always be my maybea comedy film with Ali Wang and Randall Park — 32 million households.
  • Incrediblea true crime miniseries about the victims of a serial rapist and the detectives who hunt him down – 32 million accounts.
  • dead to mea drama series with Christina Applegate — 30 million households.
  • othernessa film about a group of mothers making a surprise visit to their adult sons – 29 million households.
  • When they see usan animated limited series from creator Ava DuVernay about the Central Park Five case – 25 million homes.
  • Bodyguard, a BBC-World Productions series that previously aired in the UK – 23 million member households.
  • FYRE: The Biggest Party That Ever Happeneda documentary film about the Fyre Fest debacle – more than 20 million households.
  • Elitea series of Spanish-language soap operas for high school students – more than 20 million member households.
  • Babean Italian teen drama series — over 10 million homes.
  • The protectorNetflix’s first Turkish original series — over 10 million viewers.

Javier E. Swan