Third-party analytics suggest that The Umbrella Academy was a bigger hit for Netflix than the first season of Stranger Things. The Umbrella Academy season 1premiered on February 15 to popular and critical acclaim, and within a week was the most in-demand digital original series in the United States, ahead of shows like Stranger Things, Star Trek: Discovery, Titans, and Young Justice.
The timing really couldn't have been better for the streaming service, serving as a reminder that Netflix don't need their partnership with Marvel to produce high-quality, popular comic-book TV adaptations. Given the excitement online, nobody was surprised when Netflix renewed The Umbrella Academy show for a second season, with filming to begin over the summer. It all felt like another big win for the streaming giant, evoking memories of the popularity of Stranger Things. But of course, because Netflix doesn't release official viewing figures, it was difficult to do a straightforward comparison.
Exclusive data provided to Screen Rant by analytics firm Jumpshot suggests The Umbrella Academy actually outperformed the first season of Stranger Things. They use an anonymized panel of members to assess online consumer behavior, and in this case compared the two shows. Their data indicates just how significant a win The Umbrella Academy was for Netflix, and suggests the show has become another Netflix cult classic.
According to Jumpshot, viewership of The Umbrella Academy outpaced the first season of Stranger Things by a stunning 55 percent for the first seven days, and by a more moderate 16 percent over the first 30. This may partly reflect the growing strength of the Netflix brand in terms of original content; the last few years have seen the streaming giant focus in on original programming, building up a strong reputation. Viewers may simply be primed to expect more from Netflix, and thus more likely to immediately check out a show when they hear strong word of mouth (whereas in 2016 would have waited longer to check out Stranger Things).
It's worth noting the dramatic increase in viewership for Stranger Things between seasons 1 and 2, though. This fits with other data that indicates demand for Stranger Things is consistently strong even between news seasons. Meanwhile, Jumpshot highlights that the timing of Stranger Things season 2's release seems very much strategic; season 2 dropped at Halloween 2017, which is when sci-fi/horror genres traditionally spike. It will be interesting to see how the summer-tinged Stranger Things season 3 performs in a July slot, and no doubt Netflix will choose to take another strategic approach when they choose a release date for The Umbrella Academy season 2.
It's important to stress that this data does have its limitations; significantly, it only represents online activity in the United States, and is based on clicks rather than explicit viewing habits. Nevertheless, it gives us our best look yet at what's going on with these two popular Netflix shows, and indicates just how much of a hit Netflix has on their hands with The Umbrella Academy. With smart marketing, it's actually possible this show could become as big as Stranger Things.