Compare that to the current crop of TV behemoths, and it looks like Netflix has a legit hit on its hands. For example, the season seven premiere of Game of Thrones seized 16.1 million viewers on its first night. Meanwhile, the first episode of season eight of The Walking Dead was watched by 15 million people. For something closer to home, season five of Netflix’s House of Cards was streamed by 4.6 million people this spring, according to Nielsen.
Netflix would likely be pleased with the data if it didn’t think it was drivel. The company previously told The New York Times that Nielsen’s figures are inaccurate, and “not even close.” The audience measuring company collates its numbers from TVs using audio recognition software. Yet, with the absence of desktop and mobile streams, we can only assume that the audience size may even be larger.
What we know for sure is that more Stranger Things is in the pipeline, along with $8 billion worth of Netflix originals. If they too turn out to be hits on this scale, the streaming service may not miss Disney after all.