Netflix might be trying to distance itself from the term “binge-watching,” but that’s exactly what most of its users do. Many of us curl up on the couch or in bed every night, open up Netflix, press play, and binge to our heart’s content. We’re hopelessly addicted to the streaming service, and it has become one of our favorite pastimes.
Here’s just how addicted the average subscriber is — users spend about twice as much time each day watching Netflix as they do quality time with their families.
According to our analysis, the average Netflix user now spends 1 hour and 11 minutes each day streaming on the service. That’s over 434 hours — or 18 full days– spent streaming on Netflix in just one year.
Here’s how we arrived at this number. At the end of last year, the company announced that its users streamed 140 million hours of content per day. At the time, there were 117.58 million subscribers. Simple math shows that dividing 140 million hours of content watched daily by 117.58 million subscribers results in the average user spending 1 hour and 11 minutes each day watching content on Netflix.
That doesn’t sound too terrible on the surface, but when you put it in perspective against the time we spend on other activities, it’s pretty alarming.
Time Spent Watching Netflix vs Other Activities
Recent studies have found that families only spend anywhere from 34 to 37 minutes of quality, undistracted time (e.g. time where they “feel they actually bond”) together on a typical day. Let’s average that out to 35.5. That means the typical subscriber spends about half as much quality time with their family as they do with Netflix.
But that’s not all.
Using the most recent annual edition of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey, we found Americans spend nearly the same amount of time each day watching Netflix as they do exercising (17.4 minutes), reading (16.8 minutes), and hanging out with friends (39 minutes) combined.
Netflix users even spend more than twice as much time binging shows as they do on Facebook (27 minutes per day).
All of that said, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings believes the company needs to get its users to spend even more time on the service.
“We’re still a small fraction of every society’s overall viewing,” Hastings said on a call with investors in July. “So I think there’s still room to go there.”
And with Netflix rolling out about 700 Original Series this year, we have a lot more screen time in our futures. Let’s just make sure we’re getting some face time with our loved ones as well.