The pandemic has been good for streaming video services and Netflix in particular has reaped the rewards, passing the 200 million subscribers globally at the end of 2020.
Its reach into hundreds of countries, where it can stream its own content instantly without limitations from third-party rights holders now sees 2.7 per cent of the world’s population with a Netflix account.
That’s a pretty amazing achievement for a company that started as a mail-order DVD business focused on the US and which faces increasing competition from Amazon, Apple, Disney.
So just how much Netflix is the world watching? According to analytics company Comaritech, which analysed 24,796 uploaded Netflix viewing histories with its Time Spent Streaming tool, the average user has spent 1,130 hours or 47 days watching Netflix since opening their account.
TV shows claim the lion’s share of our attention, with the sub-par Netflix movie catalogue accounting for just 197 hours or 8 days of the total, on average. That compared to 39 days watching streamed TV shows.
New Zealanders are above-average consumers of Netflix, with account holders having spent an average of 51 days watching Netflix since sign-up (1,229 hours). That puts us ahead of Denmark, Greece, Spain and Portugal, but behind Ireland, the UK, the USA and virtually all of South America and Central America which are huge Netflix consumers in comparison. Peru tops the list (80), followed by Argentina (77), Chile (75) and Mexico (74).
There’s another reason for the strong showing in the Latin markets. “Argentina, Colombia, Canada, and Brazil are among the most cost-effective places to have a Netflix (basic plan) subscription in,” Comparitech notes.
Netflix was also a relatively early entrant into those markets, where there were few well-established streaming players and has capitalised on its position as the other US streaming providers push into Latin America.
Of the English-speaking countries we are grouped in with, the Canadians watch the most Netflix.
It’s the Canadians who are the biggest binge-watchers out of this bunch, watching almost 98,583 minutes of Netflix on average,” says Comparitech.
“That’s over 37 per cent more than the average viewer. Over 80 per cent of the content watched is a TV series, too.”
Interestingly, New Zealanders spend more time watching movies on Netflix (25%), according to Comparitech, which may point to our relatively weak movie offerings on other streaming services, Sky TV and free to air channels.
So it seems like we are getting good bang for buck from our Netflix accounts, which start at $11.99 per month for a basic plan.
View the full Comparitech survey results here.