Netflix puts spotlight on how movies break monotony of binge routines

Instead of jumping from one show to another, people tend to include films into their binge routines, according to new research by US-based on-demand streaming website Netflix.

The whole world of cinema plays a “unique role” in creating binge watching routines, says Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of the streaming website. He also feels movies act as an extension of the previous viewing experience.

According to the Netflix research, a majority (59 per cent) of its over 86 million members across more than 190 countries take a pause, usually lasting three days, before committing to a new show. During that break, more than half (61 per cent) watch a movie to keep the binge feeling alive.

“In our ongoing effort to make great programming decisions for our members we found movies play a unique role in their evolving binge watching routines and we wanted to shed light on this emerging behaviour,” Sarandos told IANS over an email from Los Gatos, California in an India exclusive interview.

Talking about the research, he said: “Netflix members around the world are including movies as part of their binge routines by pairing series with film. Globally, more than 30 million members choose to watch a movie between series (as opposed to going from one show directly to another). More often than not, that movie acts as an extension of the previous viewing experience, staying with the same genre and style of the series just completed.

“For India specifically, some interesting series-movie pairings included ‘Fuller House’ and ‘Piku’, ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’ and ‘Gilmore Girls’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’.”

For the study, the streaming website analyzed the viewing data of 86 million-plus members between January 2016 and October 2016. The research examined variation in member’s viewing patterns in relation to TV series and movies.

In this research, it was found that when members switched from one series (completing all seasons available) to another, 59 per cent of the time they took at least a one-day breather with a median gap of 2.5 days. During this breather, 61 per cent of those members watched a standalone title (documentary, movie or stand-up special) before beginning the next series.

In total, 36 per cent of all Netflix members demonstrate this behaviour. Members did not have to complete a series in a certain amount of time in order to be included in the research. To determine example series and movie pairs, Netflix analyzed more than 100 TV series to identify which movies were paired most frequently per market. The movie pairings do not equate to viewership numbers.

Sarandos, who has led content acquisition for Netflix since 2000, feels the research offers better understanding about the reception of TV and movie content.

“Viewing on Netflix has been a remarkable consistent (historically and globally) 70/30 split between TV and movies (70 per cent watching TV; 30 per cent watching movies). This research helps us have a better understanding of why that mix has been so consistent. TV and movie viewing isn’t either or, it’s a complimentary part of watching behaviour,” he said.

When it comes to taking a break from the world of Green Arrow of “Arrow”, people watch “Inception”. In other cases, they switch to “Hot Girls Wanted” movie from series “Black Mirror”.

Other popular choices are; for American drama series “Bloodline”, they team it with movie “B.A. Pass”, for “Bojack Horseman”, the movie choice is “Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru”, for “Breaking Bad”, it is “Catch Me If You Can”, and for “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”, the movie is “Gravity”.

If we talk about Indian market, Sarandos says “the series-movie pairing behaviour was consistent globally, but India had some own unique content pairings like ‘Fuller House’ and ‘Piku’, ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’ and ‘Gilmore Girls’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook'”.

(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at

By Sugandha Rawal


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