The Witcher Set To Be Most Watched Season One In Netflix History
The Witcher is on track to become the most-watched season one show in Netflix history.
The series took the world by storm after being released on Netflix just before Christmas, with eight episodes following the story of monster hunter Geralt of Rivia (Cavill).
The Witcher is based on a series of novels written by Andrzej Sapkowski, which were later adapted into video games. As a result, the franchise already had a reliable fanbase when the series was released.
Many fans, old and new, binged the series within a matter of days and it quickly became Netflix’s highest-rated original series on IMDb. Now, just a month after its release, Netflix has announced it’s on track to become the platform’s ‘biggest season one TV series ever’.
The company shared the news in its shareholder letter for Q4 2019, revealing that in The Witcher’s first four weeks of availability, 76 million ‘member households chose to watch’.
There’s no denying the series has a wealth of fans, but it worth noting Netflix has recently defined the way it calculates viewers.
The company used to determine the success of shows by counting how many people watched at least 70% of the title, but because its wealth of content varies in length Netflix has now decided to base its numbers on how many ‘households’ – aka accounts – selected the title.
In the letter, Netflix explains its statistics include anyone who watched at least two minutes of content on Netflix – even if they then turned off the programme. The company justifies its measurements by claiming that if someone watches two minutes of a show, they made an intentional choice to watch it.
Netflix has admitted this new system means viewership numbers will go up, making the newly reported shows seem as if they have been more successful than previous ones, even if that’s not the case.
For example, the series Our Planet had 33 million views under the previous metric, but the new way of counting lists 45 million households as having chosen to watch it. This leads to an increase of about 35% higher ratings, Netflix reports.
Still, with or without the new metrics, The Witcher has undeniably been a hit as the company specifically referred to it as being on track to be its ‘biggest ever’ season one series.
Cavill’s show appears to have knocked some other Netflix hits out of the park, for example season one of creepy thriller You, which was on track to be viewed by more than 40 million members in its first four weeks on Netflix after being released in December 2018.
Taking into account the 35% increase on ratings, we can estimate season one of You would now be considered to have been watched by 54 million households in its first month – a far cry from The Witcher’s 76 million.
Netflix commended its fantasy series for being a ‘testament to how [its] hit content can penetrate the global zeitgeist and influence popular culture’. It claimed the release of the show increased sales of The Witcher books and games around the world, as well as spawning a ‘viral musical hit’ in the form of the now-infamous ‘toss a coin to your witcher’ song.
My deepest apologies if you’d only just got that song out of your head.
With season one having been such a success Netflix probably can’t wait to roll out season two, which is great news as fans are no doubt equally as keen to see Cavill back on their screens.
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