This month sees the return of House of Cards for its fifth season. Four years on from when Netflix changed TV with the first season of the political drama being released all at once, TV watching is almost recognisable, with subscribers able to choose their own TV schedule. Nonetheless, there are still some universal viewing habits that can still be traced throughout the day, as Netflix audiences fall into a semi-regular TV diet.
“For years our lives had to fit around television, now it’s the other way around,” says Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content. “We’ve given consumers control and it’s interesting to see the behaviors that emerge when viewers aren’t tied to a schedule. And even more so to see that these routines are replicated by millions the world over.”
First up, Netflix users tend to eat up comedy for breakfast. While you might not expect popular parodies to stir laughs bright and early, around 6AM members are 34 per cent more likely to watch something light and funny compared to the rest of the day. At high noon, high drama comes into play. When viewing schedules are set by people and not programmers, lunchtime becomes no binging exception. Across the world, drama accounts for nearly half (47 per cent) of viewing between noon and 2PM (an increase of 5 per cent compared to the rest of the day). Midday streaming is especially prevalent in Brazil where members are 25 per cent more likely to watch at this time compared to the rest of the world.
Opposite genres attract when we binge in bed – members trade the Demogorgon for Dave Chappelle. It’s no surprise thrillers are being enjoyed in the evening – globally, the genre sees a 27 per rcent increase come 9PM. But viewers are kicking Walter White out of bed by 11PM and restoring balance with comedies as a happy end to the day.
Night owls, meanwhile, love to learn: globally, 15 per cent of streaming happens between midnight and 6AM and even rises as high as 21 per cent in Japan and South Korea. Documentaries see a 24 per cent increase in viewing during this time.
“Ultimately, Netflix-time is anytime,” says the streaming service. “When viewers fit TV watching around their daily lives, rather than the other way around, we see peak streaming as early as 5PM in India to as late as 10PM in Argentina and Singapore.”