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 September 17.
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.
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.
“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.
— CNN’s Liz Kang contributed to this report.