Squid Game Becomes Netflix’s Biggest Show Ever With 111 Million Fans In Four Weeks
South Korean drama series, Squid Game has become online streaming platform Netflix’s most popular series launch ever, with 111 million fans since it debuted less than four weeks ago.
Netflix, which famously releases only certain viewership metrics and data, included a fun video to go along with the announcement, with the show’s announcer thanking viewers for the support.
Director Hwang Dong-hyuk’s dystopian take on children’s games has a simple premise: In order to become multimillionaires, 456 people fight for survival in a game show where they must survive six deadly rounds. While the victor can earn cash, those who lose are killed.
The gory thriller ranked as the No. 1 show worldwide on the streaming service late last month, according to Variety.
Squid Game was released on Sept. 17 and, just two days later, entered the top 10 shows globally. The next day, it was at No. 2 before taking the No. 1 spot on Sept. 21.
“Squid Game has officially reached 111 million fans — making it our biggest series launch ever!” Netflix tweeted on Tuesday.
“I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to you all,” the announcer says in the video, over visuals from the show. “111 million of you have joined the ranks of the VIPs, making Squid Game our No. 1 show in the world.”
Squid Game has officially reached 111 million fans — making it our biggest series launch ever! pic.twitter.com/SW3FJ42Qsn
— Netflix (@netflix) October 12, 2021
“We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO and chief content officer, told Variety last month.
The Netflix series to previously hold the top spot, according to the streamer, was Bridgerton, with 82 million viewers as of this past January after the Shonda Rhimes period drama was released on Christmas Day 2020.
Squid Game‘s writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk previously opened up to Variety about the difficult process of writing the show, and whether or not he will make a second season, given the first one’s success.
I wanted to write a story that was an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life. But I wanted it to use the kind of characters we’ve all met in real life. As a survival game, it is entertainment and human drama. The games portrayed are extremely simple and easy to understand. That allows viewers to focus on the characters, rather than being distracted by trying to interpret the rules.
South Korean drama’s success is in line with the country’s increased influence on global popular culture through cinematic marvels like Oscar-winner “Parasite” and the K-pop group BTS.
It has also resulted in more people learning Korean, with the online language learning app Duolingo Inc saying that “Squid Game” has spurred an interest in both beginners and existing students looking to improve their linguistic skills.
The app showed a 76% rise in new users signing up to learn Korean in the UK and 40% in the US in the two weeks that followed the show’s premiere.