The cutthroat Korean drama has now surpassed the likes of Bridgerton, The Witcher, and Money Heist.
After weeks upon weeks of hype, memes, and honeycomb challenges, Netflix has finally certified that its original series Squid Game is the most popular show that the streaming platform has ever released.
On Tuesday, Netflix tweeted that the dystopian South Korean survival drama series has been sampled by 111 million fans over the span of 25 days, making it its biggest series launch ever.
By clinching the top spot, “Squid Game” has overtaken other popular titles, including former first-placer Bridgerton, whose maiden season drew 82 million accounts, as well as Stranger Things’ third run, acclaimed limited series The Queen’s Gambit, and Money Heist’s penultimate season, which all saw less than 70 million fans tune in.
Read: ‘Squid Game’ breaks the record for the highest-rated Korean drama on Netflix
As a disclaimer, Netflix’s data comes from its proprietary metric that computes the number of accounts that selected a given title in the first 28 days of release and streamed it for at least two minutes. This method does not account for how many people watched the series all the way through, or even just a single episode of Squid Game’s nine-part first season.
Nonetheless, the momentum of Squid Game is unstoppable. Elsewhere, companies have reported windfalls as a result of the series’ release, including Vans’ 7800% spike in sales of white slip-on shoes and a Seoul stallholder’s sudden turn of fortune after getting hired to produce up to 400 dalgonas for the show’s filming.
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During a presentation at Vox Media’s Code Conference last September 27, Netflix co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos spoke about the thriller series’ triumph: “We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity.”
For many, Squid Game’s success also marks the increasing impact of South Korea on the landscape of global pop culture. It also validates the streaming platform’s plan to spend $500 million this year alone on content produced in South Korea.
Art Daniella Sison