Netflix examined global viewing of more than 100 serialized TV series across more than 190 countries and found when members are focused on finishing a series, they watch a little over two hours a day to complete a season. On average, watchers finish an entire season in one week. Though binge watching is clearly the new normal, not all series are enjoyed the same way. Netflix unveiled The Binge Scale, revealing which shows are devoured and which are savored.
"Using median figures, the findings reveal that some shows are consumed quickly, while others are viewed at a slightly slower clip. The stuff viewers lap up? Horror and thrillers. The shows that take them slightly longer? Political dramas and sophisticated comedies," John Koblin wrote in The New York Times.
Here are some of the trends Netflix identified among first-season viewers:
The Very Fast Binger
"How quick: The median amount of time for a user to finish a season is four days. Time spent watching each day is about two hours and 30 minutes."
Genre types: Horror, thrillers, sci-fi
These kinds of shows “were truly propulsive, straight-up genre stuff,” Cindy Holland, the vice president for original content at Netflix, said. “These are the ones that people push through much faster and not necessarily have to think about the issues or unpack all the jokes or take a break from the big drama moment.”
Bingers are still absorbing advertising. The most recent AudienceSCAN study found 30.6% of Binge Watchers viewed a television commercial on YouTube during the past 6 months.
The Fairly Quick Binger
"How quick: The median amount of time users take to finish a season is five days. Time spent watching each day is about two hours."
"Genre types: Dramatic comedies, crime dramas, superhero shows"
Streamers are tuning in for broadcast as well. The AudienceSCAN survey revealed 62.4% of Binge Watchers took action after seeing TV commercials in the past year.
The Slightly More Relaxed Binger
"How quick: The median amount of time to finish a season is six days. Time spent watching each day is about one hour 45 minutes."
"Genre types: Political dramas, irreverent comedies, historical dramas
When jokes from a show like “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” are being fired at a machine-gun rate, people tend to take more time between episodes to digest them, Holland said. And the company found that with political dramas like “House of Cards” and “The West Wing,” viewers tend to “take a breath,” she said."
And cable is in the mix too. 39% of Binge Watchers get most of their television programming from cable subscriptions, according to AudienceSCAN research.
"And because the study is based on rookie seasons, what happens after?"
“The general trend we noticed is that subsequent seasons are consumed even faster than the preceding seasons,” Holland said.