The dystopian series, in which contestants who are deeply in need of money play deadly children's games to win cash prizes, has been viewed by 111 million accounts since debuting on Netflix Sept. 17.
To give that number some context, Netflix announced earlier this year that 82 million households watched "Bridgerton" in the first 28 days following its Christmas debut. "Squid Game" surpassed that number in a shorter amount of time.
The series is No. 1 on Netflix's Top 10 lists in 94 countries around the world. It's the platform's first-ever Korean series to reach No. 1 in the United States.
The numbers speak to the sheer size of "Squid Games'" popularity and the speed at which it took off. But Netflix's — and all streaming services' — ratings data comes with some important caveats.
For starters, these numbers are from Netflix itself and have not be vetted by any outside sources. Also, that 111 million figure doesn't mean everyone watched the series from start to finish. It is based on Netflix's metric of accounts watching at least two minutes of the series.
Regardless of Netflix's often opaque accounting of its shows' popularity, the important context is that the streaming giant's competition is growing fiercer by the day, and "Squid Game" shows Netflix remains on top for a reason.
For investors, as long as Netflix keeps adding subscribers, Wall Street will likely continue to be happy. "Squid Game" has hit the zeitgeist in a significant way, and buzz is the best means to attract new subscribers and keep current ones happy. The series has also earned great reviews, garnering a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Like many top streaming series, "Squid Game" has become a pop culture phenomenon. The series has generated memes and even Halloween costume ideas.
The success of "Squid Game" speaks to Netflix's ability to craft a worldwide hit. Netflix has 209 million subscribers and the company has worked to reach audiences on a global scale.
"When we first started investing in Korean series and films in 2015, we knew we wanted to make world-class stories for the core K-content fans across Asia and the world," said Minyoung Kim, Netflix's vice president of content for Asia Pacific, excluding India. "Today, Squid Game has broken through beyond our wildest dreams."
"'Squid Game' gave [Netflix] more confidence that our global strategy is going towards the right direction," Kim told CNN.
The best movie for every type of horror fan
Best movie for every type of horror fan
Possession: The Exorcist (1973)
Haunted house: The Shining (1980)
Thriller: Psycho (1960)
Science fiction: Alien (1979)
Slasher: Halloween (1978)
Zombie: Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Nature: Jaws (1975)
Psychological: Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Vampire: Nosferatu (1922)
Monster: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Giallo: Suspiria (1977)
Comedy: Evil Dead II (1987)
Supernatural: Carrie (1976)
Found footage: The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Werewolf: An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Folk: The Wicker Man (1973)
Body horror: Videodrome (1983)
Gothic: Eyes Without a Face (1960)
Crime: Se7en (1995)
Surrealism: Eraserhead (1977)
Anthology: Dead of Night (1945)
Splatter: Saw (2004)
Jidaigeki: Onibaba (1964)
Revenge: The Last House on the Left (1972)
Fantasy: The Golem (1920)
Melodrama: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)
Home invasion: Funny Games (1997)
Witchcraft: The Witch (2015)
Mystery: The Seventh Victim (1943)
Evil doll: Child's Play (1988)
Evil children: The Bad Seed (1956)
Black comedy: Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1968)
Evil clown: It (1990)
Historical drama: The Devils (1971)
Western: Ravenous (1999)
Post-apocalyptic: The Last Man on Earth (1964)
Musical: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Experimental: Un Chien Andalou (1929)
Adventure: Jurassic Park (1993)
Exploitation: Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
Film noir: Hangover Square (1945)
Family: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)
Cyberpunk: Hardware (1990)
War: Threads (1984)
Action: The Crow (1994)
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