Netflix Viewership Data Reveals That, Yup, People Are Binge-Watching Lunatics

Netlix is famously secretive about its viewership data, so much so that some prominent media figures (just me) have begun speculating that maybe they’re storing the data in a bunker under a volcano in the Pacific, and that the door to the bunker has one of those retina scanners on it that you see in Tom Cruise movies, and that the only way anyone is getting their hands on it is if they orchestrate some sort of heist involving contact lenses that have Netflix president Ted Sarandos’ ocular code embedded in them. Not that these media figures have thought about it a lot or anything.


While Netflix still has no intention of sharing hard figures of exactly who watches what, they did release some data related to binge-watching, and how long it takes viewers to finish seasons of their favorite shows. The answer, in short, is “not very long.” The answer, in more detail, looks something like this:

  • Viewers watched seasons of horror shows and thrillers the fastest, with shows like American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad taking an average of four days to finish, at a rate of about two and a half hours a day (about four episodes of an hour-long drama, minus commercials).
  • Next up were a group of superhero shows and dramatic comedies like Fargo, Orange Is the New Black, and Jessica Jones, coming in at about five days per season and just over two hours a day.
  • Pulling up the rear were political dramas and thinky-type comedies like The West Wing, House of Cards, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which averaged six days per season and under two hours a day.

The numbers are a little goofy, especially in that last grouping. A season of Kimmy Schmidt contains 13 half-hour episodes and a season of The West Wing contains 22 hour-long episodes. That’s a pretty wide range to lump together, and one that would presumably throw the numbers off quite a bit. Also, what kind of monster takes six days to finish a season of Kimmy Schmidt? None of this adds up.

But unfortunately, it’s all we have to go on for now. At least until those prominent media members (again, just me, and maybe Tom Cruise) figure out which volcano the bunker is under.

(Via New York Times)