Stranger Things

Stranger Things, the beloved Netflix original series by the Duffer brothers, premiered on July 15th, 2016, and catapulted several previously unknown young actors into stardom – as well as reviving Winona Ryder’s career. With Season 3 premiering in two days, now seems a fitting time to delve into a metric as old as time…


With Millie Bobby Brown being labeled a “fashion icon,” meme-worthy Winona Ryder locking down a contract with L’Oreal, Finn Wolfhard starring in It, David Harbour becoming Hellboy, and Gaten Matarazzo angering the Internetwith his new show…you might be left wondering just who wins the popularity game.

But we got you. Our YouGov Signal platform analyzes all relevant daily digital and social data surrounding well-known actors, applying 46+ metrics– including sentiment share of online conversation, number of Google searches, and more – to create a country-specific Appetite Score. We aggregate all available data into a score between 1-100 that changes daily and is a clear indicator of popularity and demand in that country.

Using a timeline from July 8th, 2016, to June 29th, 2019, we discovered which Stranger Thingsstars had the highest daily average Appetite Scores within the US over this period. The results?

Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, and Finn Wolfhard.

Stranger Things Daily Average Appetite Scores - US

Daily Average US Appetite Score from 07-08-2016 – 06-29-2019 for Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, and Finn Wolfhard – calculated by the YouGov Signal platform.

In 2016, the rankings were significantly different. Following the Season 1 premiere, Ryder came out on top with 85.93, Brown was at 75.56, and Wolfhard only scored 38.62.

But by October 26th, 2017 - the day before Season 2 dropped on Netflix - the 3 actors’ Appetite Scores were in the 90s.

Stranger Things Appetite Scores October 26th

October 26th, 2017, Appetite Scores for Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder, and Millie Bobby Brown – calculated by the Signal platform.

But what exactly has public opinion been like toward Brown, Ryder, and Wolfhard this year? After all, sometimes we loved to hate on the popular kids in school.

The Signal platform identifies sentiment in online conversation – categorized into Positive, Neutral, or Negative - surrounding individuals. These can be further distinguished into the feelings of Joy, Anticipation, Anger/Disgust, Sadness, and Surprise.

Stranger Things Sentiment Shares

Sentiment Shares of Online Conversation Surrounding Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, and Finn Wolfhard for Jan 1st– June 29th, 2019 – calculated by the Signal platform.

The public has felt most positive toward Winona Ryder this with 71% of online conversation regarding her being joyful, Finn Wolfhard scores 2ndplace with 59% Joy, and Millie Bobby Brown comes in last at 56% Joy.

Though Brown has the highest share of Anger/Disgust at 12%, there is a significantly higher amount of online conversation surrounding her due to her large social media followings of 1.3 million Facebook fans and 19.4 million Instagram followers. Ryder, on the other hand, stays off Instagram and her verified Facebook page only has 311k likes. Wolfhard’s social following fares better with just over 200k likes on his Facebook page and 11.8 million followers on Instagram.

We anticipate the release of season 3 will boost everyone’s Appetite Scores even higher based on historical data. Will there be another winner in the Appetite Score stakes this season? Perhaps. But does popularity really matter?

In this case, yes. YouGov Signal Appetite Scores can help brands and studios decide which candidates will garner the most attention in an ad campaign or sell the most movie tickets.

Will you be binge-watching Season 3?