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The Netflix Binge Scale

“Binge-watching” is a relatively new term and if you’re like me, you can thank Netflix for the term. Prior to Netflix (can we remember what life was like Pre-Netflix?) you would watch a show once per week when it was on tv, then be disappointed when it ended and left you hanging until it was on again the following week. Now we don’t have to wait – we can just sit and “binge” – and watch episode after episode until there is nothing left to watch!

I’ll be honest – I don’t have a lot of time to do this, but I have done it with two shows on Netflix so far and it was awesome!  I felt lazy yet in control of my time and loved it!  Although I may be one of the few that don’t get the luxury of binge-watching too often, it’s no secret that Binge watching is the new normal. Free to watch on your own time and terms, with Netflix you can watch an episode or a complete season whenever you want. While all types of shows are binged, not all shows are binged the same way – some are devoured and some are savoured.

Netflix has just released the the Netflix Binge Scale, examining the global viewing behaviour of more than 100 serialized TV series across more than 190 countries. The Netflix Binge Scale sheds new light on what binging really looks like around the world, and the different ways viewers binge their favourite TV shows. Using a scale that ranges from Savour to Devour, the Netflix Binge Scale reveals that when members around the world are committed to finishing a series, they Devour the show, watching roughly two hours of a show a day, finishing a season in five days; when they’re committed to Savouring a show, the watch less each day, taking longer to finish a season.

Series like Sense8 and The 100 grab you, assault your senses, and as The Binge Scale shows, make it hard to pull away. The classic elements of horror and thrillers go straight for the gut, pushing the placement of series like The Walking Dead, Scream and The Fall towards the devour end of the scale. Likewise, comedies with a dramatic bent, like Orange is the New Black, Weeds and Grace and Frankie, seem to tickle our fancy and make it easy to say ‘just one more.’

It’s no surprise that complex narratives, like that of House of Cards and Bloodline, are indulged at an unhurried pace. Nor that viewers take care to appreciate the details of dramas set in bygone eras, like Mad Men and Narcos. Maybe less obvious are irreverent comedies like BoJack Horseman, Love and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But the societal commentary that powers their densely layered comedy paired with characters that are as flawed as they are entertaining allow them to be savored.

“As The Binge Scale indicates, the viewing experience of a series can range from the emotional to the thought-provoking,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix. “Netflix helps you to find a series to binge no matter your mood or occasion, and the freedom to watch that series at your own pace – whether that’s to appreciate the drama of Bloodline or power through Orange is the New Black.”

THE NETFLIX BINGE SCALE (Based on global viewing data)


  • Irreverent Comedies:
    • Arrested Development, BoJack Horseman, Club de Cuervos, F is for Family, Love, Summer Heights High, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Wet Hot American Summer
  • Political Dramas
    • Homeland, House of Cards, Occupied, The Good Wife
  • Historical Dramas
    • Mad Men, Narcos
  • Superhero Drama
    • Gotham, Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones
  • Crime Dramas
    • Better Call Saul, Bloodline
  • Dramatic Comedies
    • Flaked, Grace & Frankie, Orange is the New Black, Weeds
  • Action & Adventure
    • 24, Marco Polo, Prison Break, The Last Kingdom, Turn
  • Sci-Fi
    • Ascension, Heroes, Sense8, The 100, The 4400
  • Horror
    • Hemlock Grove, Scream, The Walking Dead, Z Nation
  • Thriller
    • Bates Motel, Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Fall, The Killing




Netflix analyzed more than 100 serialized TV series across more than 190 countries between October 2015 and May 2016. The research examined member completion of the first season for all series. Data was only included for accounts that fully completed the season. Completion rates were organized into days and hours. The global median days to complete the first season of these series was five days. The median hours per session for completers overall was two hours and ten minutes. Series viewed less than two hours per day were identified as ‘savored.’ Series viewed more than two hours per day were identified as ‘devoured.’ Series were not restricted by launch dates, runtime or number of episodes. Where a series falls on The Netflix Binge Scale has no relation to viewership.



Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 81 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.




If you haven’t binge watched a show yet, I urge you to give it a try – you’ll be thanking Netflix! Now pass the popcorn.


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