Netflix released some unusual information: data from its subscribers. The entertainment streaming giant has been known not to report its users’ habits leaving third parties to guess.
Netflix’s rare release touches on a topic that has risen to prominence ever since the inception of entertainment streaming services, binge-watching TV shows. In a New York Times interview, Cindy Holland, the vice president for original content at Netflix, said that “we’ve gotten past ‘The binge watch, it happens!’ Now we’re trying to to distinguish that different series are consumed at different rates.” It’s clear that binge watching is here to stay. What’s interesting to think about is how some shows are being binged at a greater pace than others.
Among its first season viewers, Netflix identified horror and thrillers, like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, as the genres being consumed the quickest - with an average of four days to finish a season. Dramatic comedies and crime dramas, like Orange Is the New Black and The Blacklist, take about five days to finish the first season. The “slowest” binged shows tend to be political dramas and comedies, like House of Cards and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, taking about six days to finish the first season.
Regardless of genre, almost all of Netflix’s original shows are being binge watched. It’s no surprise, however, that thrillers are being binged the fastest. Shows like American Horror Story and Breaking Bad are meant to keep you on the edge of your seat.
On the other hand, comedies like Arrested Development and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt tend to lose their appeal when watched in such quick succession. Similarly, although House of Cards can be just as exciting as American Horror Story, it’s filled with such intricate information that you often need to take a break in order to fully process what’s going on.