Netflix has become one of the main enablers of TV binging, often dropping entire seasons of its original programming and other shows on hapless viewers at once. Given the ability to watch a full season at your own pace – and I suspect oftentimes over the course of a weekend for many, it’s easier for viewers to get hooked on a show considering they don’t have to wait a week until the next episode and hopefully remember to catch it.
Of course, being a streaming service, Netflix is able to gather all kinds of numbers and statistics. The company recently analyzed its global streaming data across the inaugural seasons of popular Netflix original series and shows that premiered on other networks to try and determine when viewers got hooked.
“Given the precious nature of primetime slots on traditional TV, a series pilot is arguably the most important point in the life of the show,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix. “However, in our research of more than 20 shows across 16 markets, we found that no one was ever hooked on the pilot. This gives us confidence that giving our members all episodes at once is more aligned with how fans are made.”
Netflix defined the episode when a viewer got hooked as the episode in which 70% of viewers who watched that episode went on to complete the first season of the show. Interestingly enough, viewers in different countries got hooked on different episodes, or sooner on different shows. Netflix Canada has provided a nice chart showing when Canadian viewers got hooked compared to global viewers of popular shows.
As you can see, Canadians for the most part got hooked on the same episode as viewers from around the world did, with a few exceptions like Marvel’s Daredevil (an episode later) and Pretty Little Liars (two episodes later). So just what gets us hooked? While Netflix can’t pinpoint an exact moment, they do have some interesting turning points that just may have done it…
(SPOILER WARNING AHEAD)
- Breaking Bad (2 episodes): It took the flip of a coin to decide whether Jesse or Walt would put the finishing blow on Krazy 8 – depending on how you look at it, Walt won and lost. Meanwhile, Jesse learns acid and bathtubs don’t mix when the decrepit heap of a former drug dealer destroys his hallway.
- Daredevil (5 episodes): We get a glimpse of how Matt experiences life – what he calls ” a world on fire.” Courtesy of Fisk, those words ring true as he turns Hell’s Kitchen into just that.
- House of Cards (3 episodes): Frank leaves union negotiations in DC to handle district business in South Carolina and proves that going home isn’t always easy, In fact, sometimes it’s the pits, or in this case a Peachoid. Not to worry, Zoe’s there to kiss it and make it all better.
- Mad Men (6 episodes): It may be Mother’s Day, but the secretaries are enjoying their time in the sun courtesy of an impromptu brainstorm for Belle Jolie lipstick. Peggy shows her true colors and makes quite an impression on the account leads, but not enough to overshadow Joan’s red dress and her ability to work a two-way mirror.
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (4 episodes): Kimmy has an eye-opening experience when Jacqueline introduces her to a plastic surgeon, though there is still no remedy for the mystery of her fear of velcro.
So what do you think about Netflix’s findings? When did you first become hooked on some of the shows above? Do you find that you get hooked easier on shows you can binge watch, or shows you watch on TV – commercials and all? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.