Our programming strategy is to provide members with a wide variety of high quality content that’s loved and watched in large numbers. Season five of La Casa de Papel (aka Money Heist) and season three of Sex Education were two of our biggest returning shows in the quarter with 69m and 55m member households, respectively, choosing to watch these fan favorites in the first four weeks. On the heels of The Queen’s Gambit, we’ve had another limited series hit with Maid which launched just after quarter-end on October 1. We expect this story about living on the poverty line by award-winning playwright and screenwriter Molly Smith Metzler to reach 67m households during its first four weeks.
La Casa de Papel was our first non-English language title to show that – with subtitling and dubbing – great stories truly can come from anywhere and be loved everywhere. We are now producing local TV and film in approximately 45 countries and have built deep relationships with creative communities around the world. While the goal of our local content executives is always to create locally authentic stories that will resonate in their country (like The Chestnut Man which we expect to be watched by approximately two thirds of our Danish members during its first four weeks), Netflix is a global, direct-to-consumer service which enables creators to reach broader audiences – and gives our members an even greater choice of stories to enjoy.
There is no better example of this than Squid Game, a unique Korean story that first captured the zeitgeist in Korea and then globally. Released on September 17, it has become our biggest TV show ever. A mind-boggling 142m member households globally have chosen to watch the title in its first four weeks. The breadth of Squid Game’s popularity is truly amazing; this show has been ranked as our #1 program in 94 countries (including the US). Like some of our other big hits, Squid Game has also pierced the cultural zeitgeist, spawning a Saturday Night Live skit and memes/clips on TikTok with more than 42 billion views. Demand for consumer products to celebrate the fandom for Squid Game is high and those items are on their way to retail now.
Our film slate also continues to build with a variety of successful Q3 titles such as action film Sweet Girl starring Jason Momoa (68m member households chose to watch in the first four weeks), Kissing Booth 3 (59m), the last installment in the rom com trilogy, the animated family film Vivo (46m) and Blood Red Sky, a German-language action horror movie (53m).
Later in the year, we will shift to reporting on hours viewed for our titles rather than the number of accounts that choose to watch them. There is some difference in rankings, as you see below, but we think engagement as measured by hours viewed is a slightly better indicator of the overall success of our titles and member satisfaction. It also matches how outside services measure TV viewing and gives proper credit to rewatching. In addition, we will start to release title metrics more regularly outside of our earnings report so our members and the industry can better measure success in the streaming world.
Future Reporting: Hours Viewed*
Top 10 Series – Hours Viewed
1. Bridgerton: Season 1 – 625M
2. Money Heist: Part 4 – 619M
3. Stranger Things 3 – 582M
4. The Witcher: Season 1 – 541M
5. 13 Reasons Why: Season 2 – 496M
6. 13 Reasons Why: Season 1 – 476M
7. You: Season 2 – 457M
8. Stranger Things 2 – 427M
9. Money Heist: Part 3 – 426M
10. Ginny & Georgia: Season 1 – 381M
Top 10 Films – Hours Viewed
1. Bird Box – 282M
2. Extraction – 231M
3. The Irishman – 215M
4. The Kissing Booth 2 – 209M
5. 6 Underground – 205M
6. Spenser Confidential – 197M
7. Enola Holmes – 190M
8. Army of the Dead – 187M
9. The Old Guard – 186M
10. Murder Mystery – 170M
* Total hours viewed per title in its first 28 days on Netflix.
Current Reporting: # of Accounts**
Top 10 Series – # of Accounts
1. Bridgerton: Season 1 – 82M
2. Lupin: Part 1 – 76M
3. The Witcher: Season 1 – 76M
4. Sex/Life: Season 1 – 67M
5. Stranger Things 3 – 67M
6. Money Heist: Part 4 – 65M
7. Tiger King: Season 1 – 64M
8. The Queen’s Gambit – 62M
9. Sweet Tooth: Season 1 – 60M
10. Emily in Paris: Season 1 – 58M
Top 10 Films – # of Accounts
1. Extraction – 99M
2. Bird Box – 89M
3. Spenser Confidential – 85M
4. 6 Underground – 83M
5. Murder Mystery – 83M
6. The Old Guard – 78M
7. Enola Holmes – 77M
8. Project Power – 75M
9. Army of the Death – 75M
10. Fatherhood – 74M
** The number of accounts that have watched at least two minutes of that title in its first 28 days on Netflix. Data as of 9/27/21.
We’re honored to have garnered the most Emmys ever for any single network or service in a season of television, with 44 (tying CBS’ tally in 1974 when there were only three national networks). This included our first best Drama series win (The Crown), while The Queen’s Gambit won 11 out of 18 nominations, including the coveted best limited series. Both titles are among our most popular ever, demonstrating critical and commercial success.
During Q3, we announced our agreement to acquire the Roald Dahl Story Company, pending regulatory approval. This was an opportunity to purchase a beloved and enduring portfolio of intellectual property including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Twits, to name just a few. Roald Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages and have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide. Once we close, we’ll be looking to develop even more of these stories into new formats across the live action television and films, animation and pre-school categories.
We’ve begun testing our games offering in select countries. It remains very early days for this initiative and, like other content categories we’ve expanded into, we plan to try different types of games, learn from our members and improve our game library. During Q3, we acquired Night School Studio, the maker of critically acclaimed games like OXENFREE, to help build out our game development capabilities.
As a reminder, games on Netflix will be included in members’ subscriptions and will not have advertisements or in-app purchases so game play is purely focused on enjoyment versus monetization.
We’re eagerly anticipating the rest of our Q4 slate, which includes a great mix of popular returning English language series like The Witcher, You, Tiger King and Cobra Kai, big returning non-English series like Sintonia and the final chapter of La Casa de Papel (aka Money Heist), as well as exciting new movies such as the action film Red Notice (starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds), Don’t Look Up with an all star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Tyler Perry and Meryl Streep, as well as The Harder They Fall featuring Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, LaKeith Stanfield, Regina King and Idris Elba, Army of Thieves (the prequel to our hit movie, Army of the Dead) and The Unforgivable starring Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis and Jon Bernthal. The latest films from acclaimed directors Jane Campion (The Power Of The Dog) and Paolo Sorrentino (The Hand of God) are also coming to Netflix in Q4.
Assuming no new Covid waves or unforeseen events that result in large scale production shutdowns, we currently anticipate a more normalized content slate in 2022, with a greater number of originals in 2022 vs. 2021 and a release schedule that is more balanced over the course of the year, as compared to 2021.