As of Wednesday, the Netflix original has eclipsed HBO’s juggernaut “Game of Thrones” on the platform to earn 17 billion views across a spectrum of long and short form videos, a new report from content analytics firm Vobile says.
The staggering viewership comes from numerous types of video content, including official trailers and clips from the series, fan recreations of iconic moments, real-world challenges inspired by the plot and even narration of user-generated video games based on the property (found on services like Roblox).
“In ten years looking at YouTube, we’ve never seen anything quite like this,” Jared Naylor, vice president of audience development at Vobile, told Variety. The company identifies and analyzes how intellectual property is shared and co-opted in the digital space. Clients include ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal and Lionsgate.
Vobile estimates that the 17 billion views have come from 129,000 uploaded videos, including traditional longform YouTube clips and their recently-launched TikTok competitor YouTube Shorts. Those videos also count 533 million engagements (likes, dislikes and comments). This sits in comparison to “Game of Thrones,” which had a decade to amass its fan army as opposed to the roughly eight weeks “Squid Game” has been in play. “Thrones” has 16.9 billion views from 420,000 uploaded videos, and an estimated 233 million engagements.
Some of the most successful clips are surprisingly simple, like the animated “Pro Squid Game Players Be Like,” which imagines skilled players breezing through the show’s challenges. That’s got 94 million views as of Wednesday. Clips like these are much more celebratory than the actual content of “Squid Game,” where destitute citizens play schoolyard games for a huge cash prize at the risk of brutal death.
Hwang Dong-hyuk, the creator of “Squid Game,” confirmed on Tuesday that season two is in development at Netflix.
See selected charts from the Vobile report: