We're big fans of Netflix over here at Cordcutting.com – and according to some recent data, we're not the only ones. In fact, our calculations show that subscribers spend much more time binge-watching Netflix than they do hanging out with their friends!
According to our calculations, the average Netflix subscriber watches 1 hour and 11 minutes of Netflix each day. In December 2017, Netflix reported that Netflix subscribers around the world watched 140 million hours of content per day. At the time, Netflix had 117.58 million subscribers. 140 million hours divided by 117.58 million subscribers results in 71 minutes.
On its own, that statistic isn't so bad – especially when you think of all of the time those Netflix users are saving by skipping commercials. But maybe we should all get out a bit more often, because when we compare the results of our calculations with data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we see that we are spending a lot more time with Netflix than with our own friends.
How much more? Well, we already established that the average Netflix subscriber's day includes 71 minutes of Netflix. According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey, the average American spends just 39 minutes “socializing and communicating” each day. That means that Netflix subscribers spend almost twice as much time binge-watching Netflix as they do hanging around with friends!
It's worth noting that we're comparing data from two different sources here – the BLS data samples Americans (with no regard to whether or not they subscribe to Netflix), and our data samples Netflix subscribers worldwide. However, it's unlikely that non-subscribers are significantly less social than subscribers, so we can expect that the number of minutes each group spends “socializing and communicating” should be about the same. And since we Americans enjoy one of Netflix's largest catalogs and are not known for our active lifestyles, its unlikely that including international subscribers heightened the contrast – if anything, we'd expect that isolating American subscriber data would make the gap even more dramatic. Sorry, streamers, but sampling issues can't explain away our lack of social lives.
As poorly as friends rank in our daily schedules, they still outperform “reading,” “relaxing and thinking,” and “participating in sports, exercise, recreation.” The average American spends just 17 minutes a day exercising, which means that we Netflix subscribers spend about six times longer watching Netflix each day than we do exercising. No wonder we don't want our friends to see us!