‘The Witcher’ Is Netflix’s Most-Viewed Season One Ever
The Witcher went from novel to movies and video games and finally big-budget TV show, debuting on Netflix as one of the streaming service’s biggest shows to date, starring Henry Cavill as famed monster hunter Geralt of Rivia. And sure enough, the series has become one of Netflix’s biggest hits to date. Netflix claims (via The Hollywood Reporter) that The Witcher is “tracking to be its biggest season one TV series launch ever. Through four weeks of release, 76 million member households watched the fantasy drama.”
That’s a gigantic number — but there is a catch. The way Netflix defines a “view” has changed, in a way that definitely expands the definition of the word “view”:
Previously, the company counted a view as a member account watching at least 70 percent of one episode of a series or 70 percent of a feature film. Now, it is touting that viewers "chose to watch" a given title, meaning that member watched for as little as two minutes — ‘long enough to indicate the choice was intentional,’ per a footnote in the earnings report. Under that measurement, the streamer says The Witcher is on track to have the biggest first season ever for a Netflix original.
So if you say “Hey, Henry Cavill is in a TV show! I’m gonna check it out!” and you watch for two minutes and go “This is garbage!” and turn it off and go to sleep, Netflix counts that as a successful “view.” Which ... it clearly wasn’t for anything but their analytic purposes. Similarly, Netflix says a whopping 83 million member households watched their Michael Bay film 6 Underground. I’m going to guess at least some of those people didn’t make it all the way to the end.
The Witcher has already been renewed for a second season on Netflix.
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