The fourth season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” was the streamer’s most-watched English-language series during the week of May 23-May 29 with a record-breaking 286.79 million hours viewed globally. This marks the biggest premiere weekend ever for an English-language TV show on Netflix, even beating out previous record-holder “Bridgerton” Season 2 (193 million hours). That season went on to become Netflix’s most-watched English language series in its first 28 days of availability with more than 656 million hours viewed, putting “Stranger Things 4” on a potentially historic trajectory.
Netflix opted to split the fourth season of “Stranger Things” into two batched releases, with Volume II debuting July 1. Following the successful split release for the final season of “Ozark” earlier this year, this strategy has become a growing trend for Netflix as it looks to extend subscriber engagement and retention with its most high-profile originals.
The release of “Stranger Things 4” produced a valuable halo effect for Netflix as the three previous seasons all shot into the top 10 for the week. Season 4 ranked as the No. 1 release in 83 countries, which was another premiere weekend record for Netflix. Even Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” climbed in the Spotify rankings upon the new season’s release.
Elsewhere, new series “The Lincoln Lawyer” continues its rock solid debut, holding on to the No. 2 spot in its second week of availability with nearly 65 million hours viewed globally. The series was in the top 10 in 75 countries.
“Ozark” Season 4 and “Bridgerton” Season 2 are also still hanging around in the top 10 long after their initial releases. The former has now become the eighth most-watched English language Netflix original in its first 28 days of release with 491.07 million hours viewed after Netflix combined the debuts of Season 4’s two-part rollout.
Among Netflix’s non-English original TV series, “Wrong Side of the Tracks” claimed the top spot with 61.62 million hours viewed globally. The Spanish thriller made the top 10 in 71 countries. Meanwhile, “Who Killed Sara?” continues to gobble up viewership across multiple seasons, with Season 3 claiming 31.84 million hours viewed in the May 23-May 29 span and Seasons 1 and 2 both re-entering the top 10. The Spanish thriller pairs nicely with Korean series “Our Blues” (12.72 million hours viewed), “Tomorrow” (11.12 million hours viewed) and “Business Proposal” (9.99 million hours viewed) to emerge among Netflix’s top international content offerings.
Netflix is increasingly relying less on homegrown Hollywood projects as the company’s major advantage in the ongoing streaming wars is its unrivaled years of investments in overseas programming.