Binge-viewing is “clearly the new normal”, argues Netflix in a new study that attempts to analyse how people watch shows online.
The streaming giant is well placed to offer such an insight, having now launched in over 190 countries around the world. There are millions of members all watching titles all the time, which is bound to throw up some revealing trends.
Netflix’s new study examined “global viewing” of 100 shows on its service, finding that people who choose to binge through a series finish, on average, one whole season a week.
“When members are focused on finishing a series, they watch a little over two hours a day to complete a season,” adds Netflix.
It classifies shows into two broad categories: those that people savour and those that people devour.
“Series like Sense8, Orphan Black and The 100 grab you, assault your senses, and as The Binge Scale shows, make it hard to pull away,” says Netflix. “The classic elements of horror and thrillers go straight for the gut, pushing the placement of series like The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and The Fall towards the devour end of the scale. Likewise, comedies with a dramatic bent, like Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie and Grace and Frankie, seem to tickle our fancy and make it easy to say ‘just one more.”
“It’s no surprise that complex narratives, like that of House of Cards and Bloodline, are indulged at an unhurried pace,” adds the site. However, comedies such as BoJack Horseman, Love and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are also at the savoured end of the scale.
Rather than solely analyse Netflix originals, though, which are released globally, the research takes into account series that are not available in each country, such as The 100 and The Fall. It doesn’t take into account the differing episode runtimes between seasons either.
The findings also have “no relation to viewership”, admits Netflix, which means that its “Binge Scale” has no indication of scale whatsoever. People who choose to binge through a series may well finish, on average, one whole season a week, but with Netflix remaining tight-lipped on viewing figures, there is no indication of how many people are actually doing this.
The conclusion of the research? “Netflix helps you to find a series to binge no matter your mood or occasion, and the freedom to watch that series at your own pace.” Now that’s something we can’t disagree with it. As you were, streamers.