Netflix binge watching – the top 10 shows, where Hong Kong ranks for bingeing ... and what’s going on in Canada?
Streaming giant reveals the series subscribers watch in their entirety within 24 hours of release, and where the biggest binge watchers are – showing Hong Kong is only fifth in East Asia
How quickly do you consume full seasons of Netflix series?
If you binge watch within 24 hours of their (typical) Friday release, you’re one of 8.4 million subscribers the streaming giant has dubbed “binge racers”, so desperate to be in the know – and ahead of the game on social media – that you’ll spend as much as 13 of those hours in front of a screen. Most do it only once, but one hardy US subscriber has binge-raced through 36 series this year alone.
The notoriously secretive Netflix is revealing a bit of insight on the preferences and make-up of those superfans: In both the US and globally, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life and Fuller House – revivals of popular broadcast series – were the two most frequently binge-raced.
But the list diverges from there to a range of different genres: Ashton Kutcher sitcom The Ranch, Marvel’s The Defenders and manga series The Seven Deadly Sins were next on the list.
Hong Kong has the world’s highest percentage of binge racers for the 10-episode series Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories, which is based on the Japanese manga Shinya Shokudo. However, overall the city trails neighbours Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Taiwan for binge racing.
Canada has the highest per-capita incidence of binge racing, measured since 2013, when Netflix began its original-programming push in earnest with House of Cards (which ranks only 16th) and Orange Is the New Black (ninth). Trailing Canada are the US and three Scandinavian countries: Denmark, Finland and Norway.
Netflix says the rankings have no direct correlation with overall popularity, a statistic it still closely guards. But it “reveals certain titles where that level of fervour and fandom exists”, says Brian Wright, a vice-president of original series. “You can still have an absolutely beloved show that is binged,” just not on the first day.
Wright says common sense would dictate the behaviour would be most prevalent for shows you can’t turn away from. “I would have guessed it would comprise cliffhanger dramas,” he says.
Instead, the most voraciously viewed series tend to be among the most eagerly anticipated. Familiar titles top the list, along with shorter comedies that require less time to plough through: Gilmore and Fuller seasons are roughly six hours, less than half the length of many dramas.
Stranger Things, one of Netflix’s most surprising hits, ranks just 10th, but many viewers came to it after word of mouth built, and Wright expects the show will climb in the rankings when its second season hits on October 27.
“I would anticipate a lot of people will be really excited to get through that story,” he says.
Top 10 “binge raced” shows
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
Marvel’s The Defenders
The Seven Deadly Sins
Trailer Park Boys
Santa Clarita Diet
F is for Family
Orange is the New Black