Netflix released “13 Reasons Why” season 2 last Friday — and the popular (and controversial) teen-suicide drama immediately popped to the top spot among all U.S. digital original series, according to new data.
On May 19, when all 13 episodes of the “13 Reasons Why” second season dropped, the show blew past YouTube’s “Cobra Kai,” the previous top-trending digital original in the U.S., according to measurement firm Parrot Analytics. “13 Reasons” peaked at 64.4 million demand expressions on the date of its premiere (vs. a peak of 51.5 million for “Cobra Kai”), reinforcing the show as one of Netflix’s top breakout hits.
“13 Reasons Why” was the most popular show in the U.S. on a seven-day average per-capita basis (from May 14-20) — more than twice as popular as Hulu’s “The Handmaids Tale,” which is currently in its second season. “13 Reasons” demand may have peaked on May 19, as it lost 2% in demand overnight into May 20, per Parrot Analytics’ data.
The strong showing for Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” season 2 comes even despite the poor critical reception to the sophomore installment. On Rotten Tomatoes, “13 Reasons” S2 currently has a critics’ rating of 28% (and an audience rating of 67%). For some viewers the drama stoked by season 2 “will likely be too much,” Kevin O’Keefe wrote in Variety‘s review, while he praised Dylan Minnette’s performance as Clay Jensen as a highlight.
Note that the data from Parrot Analytics doesn’t represent actual viewers — rather, the company aggregates and weights different data indicating intent to watch from social media, video platforms, blogs, piracy networks and other sources.
Here’s the data from Parrot Analytics showing the relative demand on May 19:
On a global seven-day-average per-capita basis, the show is approximately twice as popular in the U.S. as it is in India, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand or Brazil, according to Parrot Analytics. Overall, “13 Reasons Why” from May 14-20 on average ranked as the fourth most popular TV series overall in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and the U.K., coming in fifth France and New Zealand and sixth place in Canada.