Thursday, June 9, 2016

Netflix new Binge Scale reveals more about how people are binge-watching on video-on-demand (VOD) streaming services and how content influence their speed.

Netflix has revealed a new Binge Scale, an analysis of the type of shows that viewers binge-watch extremely quickly and which ones they take more time with, with thrillers and horror series that top the list when it comes to turning viewers into feeding frenzy TV zombies.

Netflix - available since January in South Africa and across Africa - has now analysed its global subscriber base, tracking how users in 190 countries watched the first seasons of more than 100 TV series over a 7 month period until the end of May, looking for broad patterns.

The data crunching, taken from between October 2015 and May 2016, revealed that people are either devouring or savouring them.

People quickly burn through thrillers, horror, science fiction shows and action adventure series. People still binge watch quickly, but take more time to watch historical dramas, political dramas and irreverent comedies.

Netflix postulates that viewers are able to go faster through shows that's more visceral and action-orientated, while people take slightly more time to process the intrigue, twists and dialogue of denser shows with more complex plots and denser narratives, as well as comedy shows where the jokes and in-jokes zing past quickly and viewers want to make sure they catch and get it all.

Netflix's research - that will likely be similar to trends seen by China's from PCCW Global and Naspers' ShowMax who both compete for South African viewers in the video-on-demand (VOD) streaming service space - reveals that viewers, when they start to binge-watch, often finish a season of a show within as little as 5 days.

VOD watchers who are "devouring" shows will watch on average episodes of a show for more than 2 hours a day. Those savouring a show, will watch for less than 2 hours a day.

"As The Binge Scale indicates, the viewing experience of a series can range from the emotional to the thought-provoking," says Cindy Holland, the 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."

According to Netflix' research, shows people feed on like zombie viewers include Breaking Bad, Dexter, Bates Motel, American Horror Story, Hemlock Grove, Penny Dreadful, The Walking Dead, Z Nation and Scream.

Shows that people take more time with include The West Wing, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Summer Heights High, Homeland, House of Cards, The Good Wife and Arrested Development.