Netflix knows whenever you press pause
James R | On 26, Oct 2016
This Halloween, the country will be full of spooky things, from horror movies and ghost tours to haunted houses and trick-or-treating. For those at home trying to watch Stranger Things, the ringing of the bells this 31st October signifies something truly horrific: having to stop streaming to answer the door.
In fact, Netflix research shows that this really does happen every All Hallows’ Eve. The crack team of data scientists in the streaming giant’s Candy and Confections Division found that pause rates across the USA increase up to 30 per cent during trick-or-treating.
Nationwide, the pause rate peaks at 7:29 p.m., which makes it the golden hour to maximise your Halloween haul.
“More pauses mean more candy. It’s really that simple,” says Dr. Heathcliff Barr, Chief Candy Officer at Netflix.
Researchers at Netflix also uncovered several “Candy Capitals” scattered across the country – great news for trick-or-treaters in Tallahassee, FL, Binghamton, NY, and Lima, OH. Unfortunately, Jack- and Jill-o-lanterns in Helena, MT, Jackson, TN, and Columbia, MO, which ranked lowest in Halloween pause rates, may not be so lucky this year.
The VOD service has released its own “Pause and Effect” guide, with suggestions for shows that are “fast and fun like Fuller House” (yeah, right) to watch when the door-knocking’s at its peak. The company has even designed a DIY treats-dispenser for binge-watchers to assemble and sits on their door, avoiding any interruptions. While both of those mean nothing, the interesting fact is that people now use Netflix widely enough for behaviour such as people knocking on doors to be traceable, to some extent – and that wherever you are, Netflix knows every time you hit pause. Now that is a scary thought.