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Netflix users stream over 3 hours a day while in quarantine

Published May 4th, 2020 9:40PM EDT
Netflix streaming
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  • A data analysis earlier this year showed that streaming video consumption increases substantially when there is a disruptive event such as the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Netflix VP for original content Cindy Holland has said that the average Netflix user spent two hours a day on the streaming service in 2019.
  • Combining these figures, KilltheCableBill projects that Netflix users are streaming shows and movies for over three hours a day on average while quarantined.
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As sick as we all are of being cooped up inside due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, streaming has been a vital lifeline keeping us relatively sane. Personally, I’ve been watching shows and movies I never would have made time for before the pandemic, like Onward on Disney+ and ESPN‘s Michael Jordan documentary. Both are way more entertaining than I would have expected, and if not for being in quarantine, I know I wouldn’t have watched either of them. And based on the latest figures, I’m not the only one carving out more time for streaming.

In March, a Nielsen data analysis (via Variety) suggested that disruptive events such as hurricanes, storms, or even viral pandemics could lead to an average 61% increase in streaming video. During a recent press conference in Israel (also via Variety), Cindy Holland, Netflix VP for original content, revealed that the average Netflix subscriber spent two hours a day on the streaming service in 2019. Therefore, if both of these statistics hold true in 2020, KilltheCableBill projects that the average Netflix user is streaming for more than three hours every day.

We can’t confirm or deny any of these projections, but it stands to reason that if millions of Americans are stuck inside all day every day, they have to find something to do. Few things require less effort than streaming, so it’s not much of a stretch to assume that many quarantined individuals are spending a large chunk of their days watching shows and movies on Netflix. Here are some of the eye-popping estimates using the numbers above:

  • Netflix subscribers have been streaming about 203,840,000 hours per day during quarantine.
  • Netflix users in the United States streamed around 6,115,200,000 hours of content in April.
  • The average Netflix user is using about 9.6GB of data streaming per day while quarantining.
  • Netflix users in the US are using a total of around 18.346 million TB of data per month of quarantine.

Even if the numbers are off — and they’re certainly not precise — it’s astounding to think about just how much data we have been using and how many hours we have been spending in front of our TVs, tablets, and phones over the course of the last two months. Unfortunately, Netflix is unlikely to ever share detailed usage figures, but it will be fascinating to see how projections change as people in the US and abroad start to go outside again.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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