How Much Are You Really Using Your Netflix Subscription?


As far as entertainment goes, $7.99 per month for a basic Netflix streaming subscription seems like a relative bargain. Still, you’re only getting your money’s worth if you’re actually using it. So how much are you using it, really?

According to a new study, probably quite a lot. A research group has determined that the average Netflix user watches 93.2 minutes, or 1.55 hours,  of content on the service per day. That’s a 350% increase over 2011, when Netflix was getting crap for their decision to raise prices.

Variety reports the figures based on a study from The Diffusion Group. The team surveyed 2,000 adult broadband users about their viewing habits during the second quarter of 2014. That points to a potential flaw in the data, as TDG co-founder Michael Greeson acknowledges that self-reporting can “lean toward the high side.”

Moreover, 93.2 is just an average. Some people watch a lot more, others watch a lot less. But assuming that number is accurate, that works out to about 17 cents per hour of viewing if you’re on the $7.99/month plan. Not bad at all compared to, say, the $8/hour that a ticket to a full-length feature might cost you. 

However, even as Netflix’s numbers continue to grow, the service still has a long way to go before it can catch up to “traditional” TV. Nielsen reports that Americans watched an average of 142 hours and 38 minutes of live TV per month during that same period, plus another 14 hours and 13 minutes of DVR and VOD programming.

That translates to about 4.75 hours of live TV and 14 minutes of DVR/VOD per day — more than three times the length of time the average Netflix subscriber supposedly spends on the streaming service. On the flip side, though, those numbers seem to be going down. 142 hours and 38 minutes is actually four hours less than the average TV watcher spent on live TV the year before.

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