People Spend More Than Twice as Much Time on Netflix as With Friends

People Spend More Than Twice as Much Time on Netflix as With Friends

We’re big fans of Netflix over here at – 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 40 minutes of Netflix each day (you can check out the math in our piece on Netflix’s commercials – essentially, we just took the total number of Netflix streaming hours per day as reported by CEO Reed Hastings and divided it by the number of Netflix subscribers worldwide).

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.

You guys need to get out more.

You guys need to get out more.

How much more? Well, we already established that the average Netflix subscriber’s day includes 100 minutes of Netflix. According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey, the average American spends just 38 minutes “socializing and communicating” each day. That means that Netflix subscribers spend more than 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 Netflix’s largest catalog (for now, at least) 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!

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About the Author

Stephen Lovely
Stephen Lovely
Stephen Lovely is a freelance writer and a longtime cord cutter with a passion for technology and entertainment. You can find his work on and his tweets at @stephenlovely.

4 Comments on "People Spend More Than Twice as Much Time on Netflix as With Friends"

  1. CordCutting Nut | May 16, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Reply

    This site used to be so much better when it focused on really good articles about cord cutting, now it’s just a bunch of clickbait using bad data.

    Did you change editors or something? Time to go back to the old ways.

  2. Michael Smith | May 16, 2016 at 11:23 pm | Reply

    Solution? Just relabel “watching netflix” to “participating in liberal activities” and all will be o.k.

  3. I think a re-evaluation of what is considered socializing for a modern society is in order. We’re busier than generations before, with heavier demands on our time, from work commitments, education and relations & families. People are more selfish with their time these days, so these statistics don’t surprise me in the slightest. However it should be noted that terms like ‘socializing’ and ‘friend’ have a very different context today than they did say 10 or 20 years ago. I definitely spend more time socializing with work colleagues than I do with what would be considered as a ‘friend’ by a member of an older generation. We have ‘friends’ we work-out with, party with, work friends, book/movie/sport clubs, gaming circles, and partners (a friend by another name). These stats above also don’t account for a lot of things, such as multi-screen usage, ‘Netflix and chill’ like activities. But to add a few statistical anomalies this study… I live in a house in Cape Town with 24 other millenials, a common occurrence in this city due to high rental prices… The average daily usage of Netflix on our property is probably closer to 3-4 hours per day. And daily exercise around 1-2 hours, have to schedule our gym times now which is annoying.

  4. Another statistical anomaly that Netflix themselves possibly doesn’t account for is how many of their users fall asleep using their service. I for one am terrible at this, often playing shows on my computer with the screen turned off, as I drift into slumber land as I listen the antics of the lovable Archer or listening to the No. 444 (Korean series ‘Black’) grappling with his humanity.

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