'Stranger Things 2' Tops List of Data Firm's "Most Popular" Shows in U.S.

Stranger Things S02 Still 9 - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Netflix

Parrot Analytics has been measuring the popularity of series streamed by Netflix for two years.

Stranger Things 2 is the most popular show in the country, while Star Trek: Discovery isn't far behind — at least according to data company Parrot Analytics.

Parrot Analytics has been measuring the popularity of series streamed by Netflix, Amazon and their competitors for more than two years, and the company shared its most recent data exclusively with The Hollywood Reporter.

The company's proprietary methodology is based on "demand expressions," so it is not a measurement of how many people watch a show where it legally resides. Instead, it looks at a host of sources, weighting each accordingly, including video streaming at pirate and file-sharing sites, along with fan and critic ratings, positive feedback in social media and blogs, photo sharing and much more.

By that standard, Stranger Things 2 on Netflix is the nation's top show, while Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access is No. 4. While not a first, it does mark one of the rare times that two streamers have cracked the top five. Another Netflix show, Mindhunter, is the sixth most-popular show, according to Parrot Analytics.

The most recent similar occurrence of such a strong showing from streamers is for the week ending Oct. 22, when Star Trek: Discovery and Mindhunter were the top two shows in the country.

"We measure all of the demand in the marketplace. For two streamed shows to be in the top five again — it's a whole new world," said Samuel Stadler, vp marketing at Parrot Analytics.

In the case of Stranger Things 2, the Parrot Analytics data seems to reinforce data from Nielsen, which recently began releasing viewership measurement of Netflix shows. Netflix and the other streamers don't share such numbers, so it is up to the various research companies to come up with their own ways of measuring popularity. Nielsen says it uses the same methodology for Netflix as it does for the rest of television.

But it's not an apples-to-apples comparison to traditional TV because Netflix released the entire nine-episode season of Stranger Things 2 on the same day, a strategy that caters to binge-watchers, of course.

Nielsen said that 15.8 million people watched the season premiere of Stranger Things 2 within three days of its release. While Netflix hasn't authenticated those numbers, it did acknowledge that 361,000 subscribers streamed the entire season — more than seven hours of programming — within 24 hours of release.

The Parrot Analytics data is for the week ended Nov. 6, and here is its list of the top 10 shows in the country, regardless of platform:

1. Stranger Things 2
2. The Walking Dead
3. Game of Thrones
4. Star Trek: Discovery
5. Preacher
6. Mindhunter
7. The Big Bang Theory
8. The Ellen DeGeneres Show
9. Rick and Morty
10. The Orville