Netflix subscribers avoid 160 hours worth of advertising per year, compared to cable TV viewers
Netflix subscribers on average watch nearly six days less advertising than cable TV viewers per year, according to streaming-data site CordCutting.com.
CordCutting.com used the announcement that Netflix subscribers have reached 75 million worldwide, plus the statement that these Netflix users stream 125 million hours of content per day to work out that the average user streams around one hour and forty minutes a day. They compared this to the typical hour of American cable television, which contains 15 minutes and 38 seconds of advertising. Multiplying the average stream time by the average time spent on advertising in an hour works out to be 158.5 hours. Netflix subscribers have saved themselves six days worth of advertising by choosing the streaming service over cable television.
Netflix has repeatedly said that it believes cutting ads is a vital part of their streaming experience, and will not change this in the future. Its impact has not gone unnoticed. Howard Shimmel, a research officer at Time Warner, told Bloomberg last year that: “We know one of the benefits of an ecosystem like Netflix is its lack of advertising. Consumers are being trained there are places they can go to avoid ads.”
Other services have even cut back on ads in an attempt to lure back the Netflix generation to traditional television. Late last year, Time Warner confirmed it would cut its advertising time in half on the channel truTV. Viacom, which includes ad-heavy channels such as Comedy Central and MTV, has also decreased its time spent on advertising. FOX prefers to offer viewers the opportunity to watch their shows online on Hulu, where users will have to watch only a thirty-second advert instead of endure a full two and a half minute commercial break.
Whether the Netflix model will permanently revolutionise the face of TV has yet to be seen, but its progress so far has been remarkable.