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How Netflix Has Changed Our TV Habits

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Netflix may have broken the mould by releasing all episodes of House of Cards at once in 2013, but it's viewers who are changing the nature of TV. And it's more than just binging. From the characters we choose to wake up with to what we watch in bed, when viewers have the power to programme their own day, TV watching no longer looks the same. 


“For years our lives had to fit around television, now it’s the other way around,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content. “We’ve given consumers control and it’s interesting to see the behaviours that emerge when viewers aren’t tied to a schedule. And even more so to see that these routines are replicated by millions the world over.”

Wake up with a smile with comedy for breakfast: Gone are the days of every household waking up to the same breakfast TV programming on their screens. While you might not expect popular parodies to stir laughs bright and early, around 6AM members are 34% more likely to watch comedy compared to the rest of the day with the new comedy wake-up block including the likes of Will Smith and Carlton (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air), The Tanners (Fuller House) and Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother), to name a few.
Avoid drama in the office and escape into another world at lunch: When viewing schedules are set by people and not programmers, lunchtime becomes no binging exception. Across the world, drama accounts for nearly half (47%) of viewing between noon and 2PM (an increase of 5% compared to the rest of the day). Who says shows like BloodlineMad Men and Orange is the New Black are strictly evening fare? 

Opposite genres attract when we binge in bed: Our evenings used to revolve around the square and the street, making sure we were sat in front of the TV to get our fix. But now, we see thrillers like The OAStranger Things and Breaking Bad being enjoyed in the evening - globally the genre sees a 27% increase come 9PM. But viewers are kicking Prairie Johnson, the Upside Down and Walter White out of bed by 11PM and restoring balance with partners like Charlie Kelly (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Kimmy Schmidt (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Dev Shah (Master of None) and Bojack Horseman before they hit the hay - apparently members around the world choose to start and end their day with a laugh. 

Late nights are for learning - watchers always enjoy a midnight snack: Globally, 15% of streaming happens between midnight and 6AM. And what these night owl members are watching is not what you think - documentaries see a 24% increase in viewing during this time, including titles like Chef’s TableMaking a Murderer and Planet Earth. The pursuit for quality entertainment (and knowledge) doesn’t dim when the lights go out. 

Ultimately, Netflix-time is anytime: Viewers now fit TV watching around their daily lives, rather than the other way around
When it comes to defining the new ‘rules’ of TV watching, Frank Underwood said it best: “If you don’t like how the table is set, turn over the table.” 

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