Late at night, as I succumb to the 4th consecutive episode of Stranger Things, I wonder – how many other people are watching right now?

Binge watching has become a cultural phenomenon. Like it or not, Netflix now plays a major role in our lives. Our recent study found that the average Netflix user spends 1 hour and 11 minutes each day streaming on the platform.

Many of us spend more time hangin’ with the ‘flix than we do with our real-life, humanoid friends and family. In fact, on average we spend more time watching Netflix than on any other activity, besides working and sleeping.

When you start to look at it from a global perspective, the stats get rather staggering…

Collectively, Netflix users watch 164.8 million hours of video per day.

To do this, Netflix servers churn through an estimated 494.4 million GB of bandwidth each day.

That means that Netflix users watch the equivalent of 18,812 YEARS of video on the platform, every single day.

This massive video payload gobbles up approximately 15% of the world’s entire bandwidth capacity, according to a recent report.

 

Doing the Math

To find these stats, we did some digging and brushed off our thinking caps. Here’s how it broke down:

  • Netflix has 139,259,000 users worldwide as of the end of 2018 (source)
  • Netflix users spend an average of 1 hour 11 minutes each day streaming on the service (source)

Simple math shows that 139,259,000 x 71 minutes = approx. 164,800,000 hours per day.

  • Streaming on Netflix uses 1-7GB per hour of content streamed (source)
  • The most popular plan, HD, uses 3GB of data per hour

If we assume the average Netflix user uses 3 GB of data per hour, we can multiply 164.8 million hours by 3 to get a whopping 494.4 million GB of bandwidth, each and every day.

Over the course of a year, that’s 180.5 billion GB of data consumed by Netflix users, a jaw-dropping amount.

What’s even crazier to think about is Netflix users could be consuming even more data if the service wasn’t so good at compressing its videos. One report found that Netflix “could easily” use 3x as much data if not for its excellent compression technology.

Of course, this is just the beginning. With Netflix continuing to add subscribers at a rapid rate, internet access expanding throughout the world, and the increasing adoption of 4K content that requires more bandwidth to deliver, we fully expect these numbers to climb much higher in coming years.

Now, back to my Stranger Things binge…

Austin Meadows

Author Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows is a cord-cutting reporter living in the rainy but beautiful Pacific North West. Disclosure: Streaming Observer is supported by readers. Articles may contain referral links. For more information, see the disclosure at the bottom of the page.

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