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It's no secret that Netflix has changed the world of television. Streaming content is now a viable and award winning way to produce TV content, with Netflix regularly bring a huge catalogue of original shows to its subscribers. Perhaps Netflix's most controversial show is 13 Reasons Why, based off the young adult novel of the same name. The series recently returned for a second season, helping to expand the world of the series in the wake of Hannah Baker's suicide and tapes. The pressure was on for Season 2 to create a story outside of the source material, although it looks like 13 Reasons certainly got a ton of viewership in its opening weekend.
While Netflix doesn't make its numbers and viewership public, Nielsen's ratings have managed to get a rough estimate of its average viewers. When 13 Reasons Why's sophomore season was released in its entirety on the streaming service, it managed to accrue a rocking 6 million US viewers within the first three days.
Specific data about 13 Reasons Why's audience was also found by Nielsen. According to the study (via Variety), Netflix subscribers watched 2-4 episodes of the show's second season during its initial release. 13 Reasons fans are reportedly 65% female, and almost entirely young people. In fact, 75% of the controversial drama's audience is 34 years old or younger. With a drama focused on angsty teenagers based off a novel for young adults, these numbers sound about right.
It's also important to note that these numbers are anything but confirmed. Nielsen is only able to monitor viewers who watch Netflix on their televisions through devices like video games, Apple TV, and Roku. Phone and computer views aren't included, which is indeed a big part of the streaming service's history.
Much like its first season, Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why's has been chock full of controversies. Before the show released its second season, it cancelled a premiere event in the wake of the Santa Fe school shooting. Season 2's finale revolves around the possibility of a school shooting, so emotions are very exposed in regards to gun-related media.
The Season 2 finale also showed an absolutely harrowing scene featuring sodomy, in a sequence that has been deemed too cruel for TV. Considering Season 1's finale graphically showed Hannah committing suicide, all of this seems about on course for 13 Reasons Why. It's a show that is equal parts controversial and popular, and the show certainly set itself up for a possible third season narratively.
Although 13 Reasons Why might not be everyone's cup of tea, you can't deny that the show has a hardcore fandom. In the end, that's what Netflix is looking for: popularity. As such, we should expect the show to get a third season, although it won't include Katherine Langford's Hannah Baker.