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July 6, 2022, 2:06 a.m. EDT

New season of Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ tops 1 billion hours watched

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By Mike Murphy

The new season of “Stranger Things” has become Netflix’s second series ever to rack up more than 1 billion hours watched in its first month.

Season 4 of the smash hit sci-fi series has been watched for 1,151,240,000 hours in its first 28 days , Netflix Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX +2.60% said Tuesday.

That’s second only to 2021’s South Korean thriller “Squid Game,” which was watched for 1,650,450,000 hours over its first 28 days.

The latest installment of “Stranger Things” is now Netflix’s most-watched season of an English-language series ever, topping Season 2 of “Bridgerton,” which had 656, 260,000 hours watched.

It’s quite possible “Stranger Things” will overtake “Squid Game” for No. 1 all-time, thanks to its two-stage release strategy: The first seven episodes premiered on May 27, in time for the Memorial Day weekend, while the final two episodes dropped Friday, just ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.

Netflix only counts hours watched in a series’ first 28 days since release, so while the tally has already ended for Season 4, Volume 1 of “Stranger Things,” Volume 2 still has nearly a month to go.

“Stranger Things” also has a significant advantage in its enormous running time. While “Squid Game” ran for nine episodes at about 485 total minutes, Season 4 of “Stranger Things” has nine episodes and about 778 total minutes, including about 235 minutes for Volume 2.

Netflix launched a website late last year listing its most popular series and movies, updated every week. While the numbers lack context and make comparisons with rivals nearly impossible, since no other major streaming service releases such viewing data, they at least provide consistent data on what’s most popular on the platform — a metric that has been long sought by investors and Hollywood creators alike.

Netflix stock has sunk 69% year to date, amid growth worries , while the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.11% has declined about 20%

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