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article imageNetflix 'Binge Scale' reveals which shows viewers like to devour

By Michael Thomas     Jun 8, 2016 in Entertainment
Netflix is always trying to better understand its audience — after all, its recommendation algorithm is crucial to its business — and its new study reveals what kind of shows people are more likely to binge-watch.
Appropriately titled the "Netflix Binge Scale," the results came from a study of more than 190 countries between October 2015 and May 2016. Netflix analyzed more than 100 serialized TV series for the study.
The Netflix Binge Scale
The Netflix Binge Scale
The data shows that certain genres of television seem to be designed for devouring (two-plus hours of viewing at a time) while others are "savored" (less than two hours of viewing).
On the extreme right end of the scale, the most "devoured" genre is the thriller, which includes titles like Breaking Bad, The Fall and The Killing. Following thrillers are horror (The Walking Dead, Hemlock Grove) and sci-fi (The 100, Sense8). Netflix surmises that these types of shows "assault your senses" and make it difficult to pull away.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the leader is "irreverent comedies" like Bojack Horseman, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Arrested Development. These types of shows are densely layered with jokes and seem to be better absorbed at a slower pace. Next is "political dramas" (House of Cards, The Good Wife) and historical dramas (Mad Men, Narcos) which feature typically slow-burning storylines.
The middle of the pack also provides some interesting insights; for example, "dramatic comedies" (Orange is the New Black, Weeds) are more "devoured" than "superhero dramas" (Daredevil, Gotham).
The research found that the median viewing time for users was two hours and 10 minutes, and only included data for those who had fully completed at least a season of television. The location of each show on the Binge Scale does not correlate to its viewership numbers.
The Netflix press release also mentioned that binge-watching is "clearly the new normal," with viewers on average finishing a TV series in less than a week.
Netflix has historically been highly in favour of binge-watching. CEO Reed Hastings recently said the company probably won't support virtual reality any time soon because it's not conducive to binge-watching.
Meanwhile, a recent study showed that Netflix's ad-free model cuts a total of six days worth of ads a year from a typical viewer's life, likely another reason why binge-watching is so appealing.
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