A recent study by Netflix shows that the company has figured out when viewers get hooked on a show by how early or late in a season they either start binge watching the show or drop out on it.
“It turns out that when commercial breaks and appointment viewing are stripped away and consumers can watch an entire season as they choose,” Netflix said in a statement. “You can see fandom emerge. That is, 70% of viewers who watched the hooked episode went on to complete season one or more poetically, when members were hooked and there was no turning back.”
Netflix’s research points to a variety of things: viewers are rarely hooked by the pilot of the show and more importantly, Netflix’s method of releasing all episodes of a season at once is extremely effective at allowing viewers to get hooked on a show—especially very early or midway into a show.
The research makes sure to note that these are averages for viewership across top shows. It goes further in show that different markets—the 16 countries used as a sample across 20 network and Netflix shows—caught on to a show in different episodes.
While networks will have to continue to make the best of a one hour time slot and bank on viewers sticking with a show aired on a weekly basis, Netflix will be able to make use of the research to produce shows such as Daredevil, Orange Is The New Black, Narcos and House of Cards that have a quick attachment rate and better fit its binge watching approach.