The Netflix "Binge-Scale" Knows All Your Secrets

Netflix may be stingy with releasing their stats, but they know. Oh, they know. 

Hollywood Reporter

Netflix took a look at user binge watching habits and today it released results that show which series are most binge-worthy on a scale from “savor” to “devour.” The study looked at over 100 series that were binged all around the world, and the patterns are clear regardless of total runtime.

Now that we’ve finally gotten over the scare quotes on binge watching (yes, we’re all depressed, no it’s not killing networks, yet), let’s all chill and take a look at the science.

Previously, Netflix has pinpointed exactly when a series hooks us. Now it reveals that the average user who commits to a full season of a show finished that season within a week, at a rate of approximately two hours per day. Below’s the genre breakdown, ranked by per diem viewing time.

But first: The report reveals that “when organizing series in relation to this benchmark, interesting patterns emerge, ranging from high energy narratives that are devoured to thought-provoking dramas that are savored.”

Have a look at the binge-o-meter to see what we devour, and what we savor:

The Netflix binge scale.


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

Unsurprisingly, shows classified as thrillers, horror, and sci-fi ranked highest on the “devour” end. These are genres that generate a lot of suspense and emotional response, the ones that get your heart rate up and make you go “yes Netflix, continue watching!” Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and the Netflix original The Fall were the most rapidly consumed stand outs.

On the “savor” end, we have the more thought-provoking “irreverent comedies” and political and historical dramas. Shows like House of Cards might draw us in with dramatic storylines, but require some focus to keep track of all the intrigue. Similarly, comedies like The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are like an ultra sweet candy to be savored, while BoJack Horseman (the overall most-savored comedy) is delightful in small doses but would be a downer to watch all in one day.


In the middle we find categories that could go either way, like superhero dramas, crime dramas, and dramatic comedies. These are genres that tend to have a more traditional episodic feel, with enough intrigue to keep you watching if you have nothing else going on, but still fairly easy to switch off if reality calls. Netflix Originals like Orange is the New Black and Grace and Frankie were some of the stand out dramatic comedies.

Take heart because according to The New York Times, Holland sees this study as proof of concept that has “reinforced the company’s faith in its policy of releasing all the episodes of an original series at once.”

Binge on, ye glorious Netflix warriors.

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