142m households watched Squid Game, Netflix says as it adds 4.4m subscribers

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A “mind-boggling” 142m households have watched Netflix’s dystopian thriller Squid Game, the streaming company said on Tuesday.

Announcing its latest quarterly results Netflix said it has added 4.4 million subscribers in the last three months, comfortably beating Wall Street expectations, and that it expected the next quarter to be even better as more content comes online after a pandemic-related lull.

Related: ‘They didn’t just pick us up off the street!’ Meet the globally derided Squid Game VIPs

The company said it expects to add 8.5 million subscribers in the fourth quarter.

But it may be hard for the company to top Squid Game, a series about deeply indebted people playing deadly versions of children’s games that has become the company’s biggest ever hit.

“A mind-boggling 142m member households globally have chosen to watch the title in its first four weeks. The breadth of Squid Game’s popularity is truly amazing,” the company said in a letter to investors.

The Korean show ranked No 1 in 94 countries and “pierced the cultural zeitgeist”, inspiring Halloween costumes, skits on Saturday Night Live and memes on TikTok that have gathered more than 42bn views.

In the next quarter Netflix will release new seasons of The Witcher, Tiger King and Cobra Kai and is working with Roald Dahl’s estate on series related to his bestselling books including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda.

The company also announced that it will now start reporting hours viewed rather than the number of accounts that watched.

Netflix said that the new metrics “matches how outside services measure TV viewing and gives proper credit to rewatching”.

The latest figures from Netflix boosted the company’s share price by 2% in after-hours trading.

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