New Delhi: Popular streaming service Netflix has said that, globally, 8.4 million Netflix subscribers choose to binge race—people who strive to be the first to finish by speeding through an entire season within 24 hours of its release—on the platform. The top 20 binge raced shows on Netflix in India include Marvel’s The Defenders, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Friends from College, Santa Clarita Diet and Narcos. Between 2013 and 2016, the number of launch day finishers increased more than 20 times.
Roughly five years ago when Netflix got into original programming, the company made a decision to put all of its episodes on the service at once.
“Binge racing is an interesting phenomenon that we’ve noticed is on the rise. Over the years the number of people watching an entire show in less than 24 hours has risen dramatically. There’s a unique satisfaction that comes from being the first to finish a story—whether it’s the final page of a book or the last, climactic moments of your favourite TV show," said Brian Wright, vice-president (original series) at Netflix. “Netflix allows you to watch in a way you never could before, and there’s nothing better than seeing a show engage our members and ignite a passion for viewing."
For instance, sci-fi and horror series, Stranger Things, was binge watched in Canada faster than any other region. The second season of the show is out later this week.
Between 2013 and 2016, the number of launch day finishers has increased more than 20 times. “If you think about that first season of House of Cards, as you are all aware, we did not make people wait week to week for episodes to launch. We dropped all episodes at once and after that time bingeing became part of that vocabulary where people loved a show so much they wanted to devour a whole season of TV. What we have noticed over the years is the level of binge racing, which we define as watching an entire season in less than 24 hours, is on the rise. It’s still considered an extreme behaviour of watching an entire season in one day and we’ve noticed 8% of accounts over the last few years have demonstrated that behaviour," added Wright. The company expects 2017 to be the most binge raced year.
Wright thinks this is because Netflix has expanded its original content library. “It reminds me of fans lining up to buy the latest Harry Potter novel, these superfans who are gathering the day before to line up and camp out at night. To me that’s the same level of love and fandom for a title that makes someone clear. Binge racing is something we’ll continue to watch and I do expect it to increase as we have so many more originals coming up."
Over the next few years the company said it will continue its aggressive move into the original space, including more global series and feature films. It is also working on a lot of international originals from all over the world, including Spain, France and Japan. “There is an incredible amount of storytelling that we are supporting and bringing to screens all over the world and I’m excited for fans to be able to binge all of it," said Wright.
In August, Netflix announced two more original series it will produce in India: Selection Day, a story of cricket and corruption based on a book by Booker prize-winner Aravind Adiga, and Again, a detective show written by Marisha Mukerjee. “On the originals front, just like what we have done in Europe and Latin America, where we have become a leading producer and distributor of high-quality content, we want to do the same for India and we are excited about our upcoming Indian originals, Sacred Games, Selection Day and Again," said Jessica Lee, vice-president (communications), Netflix.
Top 20 binge raced shows in India
• Marvel’s The Defenders
• Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
• Friends from College
• Santa Clarita Diet
• Master of None
• House of Cards
• The Ranch
• Fuller House
• White Gold
• Marvel’s Iron Fist
• Stranger Things
• You Me Her
• Anne with an E
• Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency