Watching Netflix Actually Saves You Time, But How Much?

It's no secret that Netflix is a service that consumers of entertainment are totally stoked to have. It's easily the most used streaming service available today, conveniently bringing thousands of movies and television shows straight to your television thanks to the wizardry of the internet.

And while you think you might be wasting your life away binging on all Netflix has to offer, the streaming service is also saving you time as well. Exstreamist (via The Mary Sue) recently did some math based on data available about Netflix and television advertising, and they've determined that watching Netflix saves time, due to the lack of commercials.

How did they figure this out? Well, according to a TDG research report, Netflix users watch an average of 1.5 hours of Netflix each day. And according to Nielsen, the average hour of television contains about 15 minutes and 30 seconds of advertising. Therefore, by using the Netflix commercial time formula (or just basic algebra), it was determined that users are saving roughly 130 hours a year by watching their shows through Netflix.

Actually if you do the math, it comes out to around 141 hours, but maybe there's some kind of variable that Exstreamist took into consideration, like the time it takes you to actually find something to watch on Netflix, or the time you spend watching the buffering screen when the internet is slow. There's also a chance that some of the time spent by users on Netflix is on movies, which don't usually have commercials like most TV shows.

But when you really think about it, does it really matter how much time Netflix's lack of commercials saves us when we're just likely going to use that extra time to watch even more of our favorite shows and movies on Netflix? After all, consumers are only increasing the time they spend watching Netflix:

Netflix - Hours Streamed

If the average Netflix user watches 1.5 hours of Netflix per day, that's 540 hours of Netflix each year, and like it says above, that's only been increasing over the years. So it's clear that we're not necessarily using this time not spent watching commercials very wisely.

With an extra 130-141 hours each year, maybe it's time to use that time to go for a jog, read a book or paint a picture. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go finish watching Wet Hot American Summer: First Day at Camp, start watching 30 Rock all over again, and also work through the hundreds of other movies and TV shows in my queue.