Netflix says its creepy series 'You' will be watched by 40 million households in its first month, and data supports that the show is a massive hit

NetflixPenn Badgley in ‘You.’
  • Data show that online conversation for “You” has increased significantly since it debuted on Netflix.
  • The show’s audience demographic has shifted, as well.
  • The series originated on Lifetime, but Netflix will exclusively air its second season.
  • Netflix said on Thursday that it estimates 40 million accounts will view the series in its first month.

Like with so many shows before it, “You,” Lifetime’s creepy drama, has found new life on Netflix.

The series debuted on Lifetime in September and became available to stream on Netflix on December 26. Since then, the series – about a book-store manager named Joe (Penn Badgley) who goes to great lengths to make struggling writer Beck (Elizabeth Lail) fall for him – has risen dramatically in popularity.

Read more: Netflix says its hit British series ‘Sex Education’ will be watched by 40 million households in its first month, and it has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes

Netflix said during its 2018 fourth quarter earnings report on Thursday that it estimates 40 million households will watch “You” in its first four weeks on the platform. Netflix counts a view for a TV show as an account watching at least 70% of a single episode.

Data from consumer-insights company Crimson Hexagon provided to Business Insider supports the view that “You” is a hit for Netflix.

The data shows that daily social-media posts for “You” were declining before it went to Netflix. But as soon as it was available to stream, the show saw a big spike. The online conversation around the series has been consistent and has seen 15,000 total posts since December 26.

You lifetime netflix dataCrimson Hexagon

Netflix has helped expand the audience demographic for the show, too. The show still skews toward women, as it did while on Lifetime, but more men have now watched the series on Netflix (28% of its audience) than they did while it was on Lifetime (23%).

Viewers 18 or younger were the biggest age demographic for the show on Lifetime. On Netflix, the primary demographic has shifted to ages 18 to 24, as seen in the graph below.

You netflix lifetime dataCrimson Hexagon

“You” will return for its second season exclusively on Netflix, rather than on Lifetime.

It’s not the first show to get a big boost from Netflix. “Breaking Bad” was the first major show to feel the “Netflix Effect.” When the second half of its final season premiered on AMC in 2013, it doubled the ratings of the first half’s premiere with a series’ best of 5.9 million viewers, according to Variety. The show’s past seasons had been streaming after AMC signed a licensing deal with Netflix in 2011.

The second season of “Riverdale” premiered to series-best ratings in 2017 – 67% above the series premiere and double the first season finale – after the first season had been available on Netflix, according to Vulture.

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