Netflix Surprise: ‘Money Heist’ Projected to Outdraw ‘Tiger King’


The docuseries was a big draw for the streamer in the first quarter, but the Spanish thriller is on pace to bring in a bigger worldwide audience.

Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness was a huge draw for Netflix users in the first quarter of 2020 — but another series is on pace to attract more users.

The fourth installment of Spanish drama Money Heist (aka La Casa de Papel) is projected to draw a slightly larger worldwide audience in its first four weeks, the streamer said in its quarterly earnings report. The company is projecting 64 million member accounts will “choose to watch” Tiger King in its first four weeks. Money Heist, which debuted April 3 (just outside the first quarter), is projected to get the attention of some 65 million member accounts.

Netflix changed its reporting of what constitutes a “view” in its previous earnings report. The new metric measures any member account who watched at least two minutes of a series or movie — “long enough to indicate the choice was intentional,” as the streamer put it — whereas previously it was 70 percent of one episode of a series or 70 percent of a feature film. The company said then that the new measurement, which is more akin to view measurements on YouTube (30 seconds) than traditional TV ratings as measured by Nielsen, will result in figures about 35 percent larger than its previous reporting.

Both Money Heist and Tiger King fall a little short of the previous quarter’s biggest Netflix show, The Witcher. The company said in its last earnings report that 76 million people checked out the Henry Cavill-led fantasy series. 

Nielsen, meanwhile, reported that over its first 10 days of release, Tiger King averaged 19 million viewers, and more than 34 million watched at least a few minutes of the docuseries — making it one of the most watched Netflix shows the ratings service has measured. The average viewer figure puts it in between seasons two (17.5 million) and three (20.5 million) of Stranger Things, which both Netflix and Nielsen have said is one of the streamer’s biggest shows.

Netflix disputes the accuracy of Nielsen’s SVOD ratings as they measure viewing only on TV sets, not other devices, and only in the United States, whereas Netflix content airs worldwide.

Netflix also highlighted view figures for reality series Love Is Blind (30 million) and the Emmy-winning Ozark (29 million) in its earnings report. The lone feature film the company mentioned is Spenser Confidential; the Mark Wahlberg action movie racked up looks from 85 million Netflix accounts.

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