Why it matters: It’s almost an understatement to say that Netflix’s The Witcher has been a success. Now, we know just how many customers watched the show. The streaming service said 76 million member households “chose to watch” the fantasy in its first four weeks of launch, putting it on track to be the company’s most successful debut show ever.
There is, however, a caveat to go with that number. In a letter Netflix sent to shareholders, it uses the term “chose to watch” when revealing viewing figures; this is because it has changed its old metric that used to count an episode or movie as watched if a customer got through 70 percent of it. The new system registers a view after just two minutes of content has been watched.
Even if a few million people turned off The Witcher after two minutes, it’s still an amazing feat. For comparison, and using the same metric, Netflix said season three of The Crown was watched by 21 million in its first four weeks, while 83 million people chose the Michael Bay-directed 6 Underground movie.
Netflix also used a worldwide Google Trends chart to illustrate how much interest there was in The Witcher show compared to Disney+’s The Mandalorian. It’s slightly misleading, though, as Netflix is available in 190 countries while Disney+ has only been available in five since it launched in November.
Elsewhere in the report, Netflix reveals it generated around $20 billion in revenue last year. It now has over 100 million members outside of the US, where it has almost 70 million customers.
Following the show’s launch, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt saw a spike in player numbers on Steam. Eventually, the game had more players than it did at launch back in 2015. Additionally, renewed interest in the novels forced the publisher to print 500,000 more books to meet demand.
Here’s some good news if you love The Witcher: showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich has said there are plans for seven seasons.