Lucifer billions

The Lucifer billions — understanding just what the viewing figures mean

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The Nielsen ratings count hundreds of millions of minutes, sometimes more. We use the Lucifer billions to help you grasp the scale

We’ve seen both Sweet Tooth and Lucifer score more than a billion minutes viewed according to the Nielsens. How do we understand what that means? We’ll give you some comparatives. At the point of writing, Lucifer season 5B has been out for three weeks worth of ratings (one, two and three), and has clocked up around 4 billion minutes (4,000,000,000 or 4×10^9 if you’re inclined). Let’s dig a little deeper…

Lucifer’s billions deconstructed


We aren’t talking about money, though Lucifer is undoubtedly vastly wealthy, but minutes of Netflix views. Let’s do a little arithmetic (with various assumptions built in):

Each episode is around 50 minutes, so 80 million episodes were watched

Season 5B comprised 8 episodes, so 10 million watches of the new batch

Some watch the episodes more than once (including us!) but some don’t make it to the end, so we’ll call that even

Last time we looked there were 74 million US subscribers, so this is around 14% of the subscriber base watching in the first three weeks.

We’re in familiar territory now. Until Netflix gives actual episode figures (which we expect), if this is 10 million subscribers watching Lucifer, if we look at some UK ratings (from Broadcast Now) we find the opener for the latest run of Love Island attracted 2.5 million viewers, whereas England’s victory over Denmark peaked at 26 million. Doctor Who ratings are well discussed by fans, and the recent special managed 6.35 million consolidated.

So where does that leave us?

In terms of streaming, these are superb numbers, and a useful benchmark. Joining the billion club gives a little kudos, but there are much bigger fish in other ponds. We think the 14% of subscriber base in three weeks is a useful metric, and we look to see how Netflix will quantify. We will also update this when we get the fourth week’s data, though that will only be 24 days worth of figures (due to the Friday date). We mauy even do similar analyses for other shows.

We’ll keep you posted!