Netflix helped its users avoid watching nine full days worth of commercials in 2019, a new analysis finds.
The analysis was compiled by Reviews.com and found that the streaming service for television shows and movies, which does not show commercials, helped save the average viewer about 36 minutes worth of ads daily compare to strictly television watchers, which equates to 219 hours of ads each year or roughly 9.1 days.
With Americans staying in their homes due to restrictions from the coronavirus and other forms of entertainment like movie theaters and live events postponed for the immediate future, many more have turned to Netflix for their entertainment, the report noted. The analysis estimated that total daily usage among the home-bound group has gone up by close to 30 minutes per user — saving an extra nine minutes of commercials per day.
The analysis used data showing that the average hour of network or cable television in the United States is made up of close to 42 minutes of actual programming and 18 minutes of advertisements, despite still-unfulfilled promises from networks to cut down on the number of ads per hour. This, combined with another study showing that the average American watches close to four hours of television a day, showed that Netflix users are saving a significant amount of time not watching commercials, the analysis showed.
Netflix has also been responding to the greater demand from consumers with fewer entertainment options, including starting to make it easier for international viewers to binge shows and movies. As Forbes reported, the streaming service began throttling streaming speeds in Europe back in March in response to a request from the European Union, which was concerned about the higher demand putting a strain on broadband delivery services.
As the report noted, the service this week has started to lift those restrictions and allowed some viewers to get full speeds again.
“I’ve heard from multiple contacts in Germany that they are now seeing streaming speeds for 4K Netflix content routinely hitting 15.25Mbps – the same maximum rate they used to hit before the Coronavirus limits were imposed,” reported John Archer, the magazine’s consumer tech correspondent.
“Previously, Netflix’s throttling process had seen these streams limited to 7.62Mbps – the bare minimum speed required to provide a (compressed-looking) 4K stream.”
The report added that some European countries are still reporting slower speeds, including the United Kingdom, but noted that it appeared that the restrictions could be going away soon.