Top Stories
Top Stories

'House of Cards' isn't the most binge-worthy show on Netflix, apparently

Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood featured in House of Cards, a Netflix Original
Netflix | Getty Images

Which shows on Netflix are easiest to binge-watch? Now we know.

Although Netflix is often reticent to disclose viewership data, the company crunched some numbers on the binge-watching habits of its subscribers, and the streaming service found that certain genres are binged on more quickly than others.

Episodes of "high-energy narratives" like "Sense8" or BBC America's "Orphan Black" were more likely to be watched in rapid succession, Netflix reported Wednesday. Interestingly, Netflix said that "complex narratives" like the company's first original series, "House of Cards," are more likely to be "indulged at an unhurried pace."

With its results, Netflix created what it calls a "binge scale," which ranks shows along a continuum between likelihood to be "savored" versus "devoured."

Source: Netflix

The streaming giant said that shows that get "devoured" quickly tend to "elicit [an] emotional response" or "garner a reaction." Netflix subscribers typically finished a season of these shows within four days, spending on average about two-and-a-half hours per day watching the series.

Netflix said that thrillers like BBC Two's "The Fall," horror shows like its own "Hemlock Grove" and science fiction like its "Sense8" were binged on most rapidly.

Meanwhile, shows that are closer to the "savor" end of the spectrum tend to be more "thought-provoking" and "open to interpretation," according to Netflix. Members tended to finish a season of a show that is "savored" within six days, averaging about an hour and 45 minutes of content per day.

Netflix found that irreverent comedies like "BoJack Horseman," political dramas like "House of Cards" and historical dramas like "Narcos" fell into this end of the spectrum.

The company's findings suggest that two shows within the same broad genre may vary on the "bingeability" factor. Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix, said the company wants to offer its members a diverse array of options.

"As the binge scale indicates, the viewing experience of a series can range from the emotional to the thought-provoking," Holland said in a statement.

"Netflix helps you to find a series to binge no matter your mood or occasion, and the freedom to watch that series at your own pace — whether that's to appreciate the drama of 'Bloodline' or power through 'Orange Is the New Black,'" she said.

Previously, Deloitte found that 53 percent of self-identified binge-watchers reported that drama was the genre they watched the most frequently when they watch three or more episodes of a show in a sitting.

While Netflix looked at its viewing data of more than 100 shows in more than 190 countries, it added that not all shows are available in every region.

The science behind binging
Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood featured in House of Cards, a Netflix Original
Netflix | Getty Images