Binge-watching has moved well beyond a novel and quirky idea and into our mainstream television viewing habits. Many people have fallen into the “one more episode” trap, with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime releasing entire seasons of shows all at once, as opposed to the week-by-week release model that network television uses.
Naturally, since it is a data-driven machine, Netflix has been studying people’s binge-watching habits to further refine their own programming. They released that data this week, and the New York Times published a story that makes sense of the Netflix data.
In the study, Netflix looked at the data for the first season of over 100 television shows. This included shows that have been off the air for years, such as The West Wing, to newly released Netflix originals, such as Marvel’s Jessica Jones. They found that viewers who finish the first season of a show do it in about a week. They generally watch an average of two hours a day.
The shows that are watched the fastest are sci-fi, horror, and thrillers. Some examples given of the fastest watched shows are American Horror Story, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and The Walking Dead. Given the dramatic power and tendency to end episodes with cliffhangers, it makes sense that viewers would want to get one more episode in before hitting the hay for the night. The slowest binge-watched shows are political dramas, historical dramas, and irreverent comedies.
Shows like House of Cards and The West Wing tend to make viewers stop to “take a breath,” according to Cindy Holland, vice president of original programming for Netflix. Shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt throw so many jokes at viewers that they “take more time between episodes to digest them.”
The study also showed that later seasons of shows are generally watched faster than those early seasons. The data shows that viewers love to binge, and Netflix obviously has the information to back up their marketing practices. If you want to join the trend, check out our five Netflix shows to binge on this weekend.
What’s the fastest you’ve ever binge-watched a show? Let us know in the comments below.