Stranger Things outperforms Obi-Wan Kenobi as it sets US streaming record

The cast of Stranger Things
(Image credit: Netflix)

Stranger Things season 4 has earned the biggest US streaming debut since March 2020, beating out Disney Plus series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

While the returning Netflix show's latest chapter was released on the same day as the new Star Wars spin-off (Friday, May 27), it managed to pull in 5.1 billion minutes of views across its first three days. In comparison, Obi-Wan Kenobi logged around 1 billion minutes in the same time frame, though it's worth noting that it only unveiled two episodes – as opposed to Stranger Thing 4's existing 32 – and each episode is shorter, too.

While it may have "lost out" when it comes to the battle of the streamers, Obi-Wan Kenobi still made history as the first non-film title on Disney Plus to hit 1 billion minutes in its first week. According to Nielsen, Marvel's Loki reached the milestone, but only after a handful of episodes were available online.

Netflix recently announced that the first volume of Stranger Things' staggered season 4 release had had its most successful opening to date, surpassing records set by Bridgerton season 2 back in March. Nielsen also reports that Stranger Things 4 accounted for 4 billion of its total 5.1 billion, which suggests subscribers were either watching old seasons prior to starting the new one or they were revisiting previous episodes between May 27 and May 29.

During early COVID-related lockdowns, Tiger King is said to have pulled in 5.3 billion minutes of viewing, while Ozark earned 5.2 billion.

Released in two parts, the second of which arrives on July 1, Stranger Things season 4 takes place six months after the events of its predecessor, and sees Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and the gang adjusting to their respective new lives in Lenora Hills, California and Hawkins, Indiana. Soon, though, they are brought back together as they face terrifying new threat, Vecna.

Stranger Things 4 – Volume 1 is available to stream now. If you've already binge-watched all seven episodes, fear not, Volume 2 is coming soon – and you can check out our Stranger Things season 4 release schedule for more information.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.