The new rules of TV: Netflix members decide their own schedule

May 24, 2017 - 2:06 PM

When Netflix introduced its shows with all episodes at once, it not only broke the industry mold, but changed the course for how viewers interact with TV.

From the characters we choose to wake up with, to what we binge in bed, to the shows we devour after dark, when consumers have the power to program their own day, TV watching doesn’t look like it used to.

“For years our lives had to fit around television, now it’s the other way around,” said Cindy Holland, Netflix vice president of original content. “We’ve given consumers control and it’s interesting to see the behaviors that emerge when viewers aren’t stuck to a schedule. And even more so to see that these patterns are replicated the world over.”

There’s a new primetime for Pinoy binge-watchers. Viewers fit TV watching around their daily lives, rather than the other way around, so we see peak streaming at 9PM for Filipino viewers, while it extends even later at 10PM for viewers in Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia.

In a world where news is stranger than fiction, we’re having comedy for breakfast.

While you might not expect popular parodies to premiere bright and early, that’s exactly what viewers are choosing. Around 7AM, comedy sees a 34 percent increase in watching worldwide as viewers balance out the morning news bulletin and kopo with “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Fuller House” and “Jane the Virgin.”

Dramarama is best enjoyed at lunchtime. Across the world, drama accounts for nearly half (47 percent) of global viewing between noon and 2PM (an increase of 5 percent compared to the rest of the day) as viewers keep the binge alive with titles like “Narcos,” “House of Cards” and “Sherlock.”

Mid-day streaming is especially prevalent in Brazil where members are 25 percent more likely to watch during this time compared to the rest of the world. Their streaming lunch of choice, “3%” and “The Vampire Diaries.”

We maximize our time by squeezing a binge session to and from work. Workers in India are kicking off the daily grind with the likes of Harvey and Mike from “Suits” and Piper, Alex and Taystee from “Orange is the New Black.”

Compared to the rest of the world, India is 82 percent more likely to stream at 9AM. A behaviour that continues on the 5PM ride home too with the same binge-worthy drama titles.

We like to keep our hearts racing in the evening, but can’t go to bed without a good laugh at night. It’s no surprise thrillers like “Breaking Bad” and “Stranger Things” are being devoured in the evening – the genre sees a 27 percent increase in global viewing come 9PM.

But viewers are kicking Walter White and The Demogorgon out of bed and restoring balance with partners like Grace Hanson (“Grace and Frankie”) and “Bojack Horseman” before they hit the hay.

Late nights are for learning: Globally, 15 percent of streaming happens between midnight and 6AM and even rises as high as 21 percent in Japan and South Korea.

What these night owl members are watching is not what you think. Documentaries like “Chef’s Table,” “Making a Murderer” and “Planet Earth” see a 24 percent increase in watching during this time.

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.”