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Netflix knows just how long it took you to finish Breaking Bad

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Netflix isn’t shy about sharing viewership data—the streaming giant is usually more than happy to summarize said data to let audiences know just how they ended up watching The Ranch (the answer: pretty pictures). But while Netflix will probably continue to abstain from releasing the raw data on exactly how many people are taking in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Peaky Blinders on an average weeknight, it has just disclosed how long it takes them to get through a season of one of those shows.

The New York Times reports that Netflix has shared the results of a study it conducted to “track its global base of subscribers and how they watched the first seasons of more than 100 television series over a recent seven-month stretch.” Cindy Hollan, Netflix’s vice president for original content, said that the company’s identified “patterns,” but unlike a typical Netflix marathon, that didn’t happen overnight. Holland told the Times that it took “three years of studying original series releases and nine years of streaming over all” to confirm that yes, subscribers do tend to consume all available episodes of a show as quick as humanly possible.


It turns out that Netflix subscribers race through seasons of horrors and thrillers like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, which, according to Holland, are “truly propulsive, straight-up genre stuff. 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.” These viewers average two and a half hours of viewing, and wrap up seasons in four days, presumably with an unlimited supply of pizza rolls.

On a slightly less committed level are the users who can finish a season in five days, at two hours and 10 minutes a pop. These slackers are usually interested in crime dramas, superhero shows, and dramedies, and are therefore the people you can discuss Fargo, Jessica Jones, or Orange Is The New Black with. Then there are the folks who you have to wonder even like TV very much, since they’re only setting aside an hour and 45 minutes a day to watch “irreverent” comedies and political or historical dramas like Kimmy Schmidt, House Of Cards, Arrested Development, and/or The West Wing. Those are the losers you just know aren’t going to make it onto your TV trivia team.


There is one maddening caveat to all of this information—per Netflix’s own press release, the so-called “Binge Scale” doesn’t apply to actual viewership, which means the company hasn’t really told us anything. So we’ll just quote Twitter user and International Business Times writer Oriana Schwindt here, who reminds us of the bullshit findings of these bullshit studies.

[via Uproxx]