Thursday, 19 December 2013

Netflix Binge Viewing

We hear a lot about Binge Viewing on Netflix, but there’s very little data around that says exactly what people do. Netflix’s recent press release on the subject gave some headline numbers, but it was based on a survey rather than direct viewing data, and gave no details about which shows people binge on. At Tank Top TV we have a unique approach which opens the lid on Netflix.  It is based on direct viewing data, not surveys. And we tell you which shows are driving the trend.

This report is based on the complete viewing history from 49 Netflix users from around the world (39% USA).

We define Binge Viewing as watching 2 or more episodes of the same series in one day.  When the world watches Netflix, 43% of the time they Binge watch; and 74% of episodes watched on Netflix are viewed in Binges.  In the average Binge people watch 3.7 episodes, but the biggest Binge we recorded was 37 episodes of the The West Wing - a 24 hour marathon!

So what shows are the most attractive to Bingers? Netflix releases entire seasons of its Original Series at once to encourage Binge viewing, but these aren’t our winning shows.  Here’s our list with the shows with the highest average number of shows watched per sitting listed first.  Parks and Recreation is our winner with an average of 5 episodes per sitting.  We were also interested to discover that an amazing 96% of all the episodes watched of this show are seen in Binges: only 4% of episodes were watched individually.

It's interesting that in our sample at least, comedy shows are the most often watched in binges. Perhaps it's because they tend to be 30 minutes or shorter? Parks and Recreation tends to be a little over 20 minutes per episode, so those 5-episode binges total something like 100 minutes of viewing. Which is approximately the same amount of viewing as the typical 2-episode binge of Breaking Bad.

Two episodes a day may be too much for some people.  What if we look at whether people watch more than the traditional one episode per week? Well, 83% of episodes are watched in Binges of 2 or more episodes a week, and the average Binge-week comprises 7 episodes of a show. The chart that follows shows the programmes that are most often watched in Binge-weeks of more than one episode.
It's not a big surprise that given the option to watch programmes at your own pace, viewers choose to see a story progress more often than once a week.  In our house, once we get going on a series it's likely we'll watch an episode every night that we're in. How about you?

If you need data about on-demand viewing, come and talk to us at Tank Top TV.  You might also like our white paper.