Netflix’s Australian viewers take longer to get hooked

23 September, 2015 by Don Groves

While new shows launched on Australian commercial-free-to-air networks can live or die on the ratings for the first couple of episodes, Netflix's  Australian subscribers are much more patient.

According to new global research conducted by the streaming giant, Australian viewers generally don’t become hooked on series until they have watched three or four episodes.


That’s one or two episodes later than the rest of the world on almost every show, Netflix revealed after surveying viewing habits in 16 territories including the US, UK, France and Germany.

Despite these differences, it said the “hooked” moment had no correlation to audience size or attrition, regardless of program, episode number or country.

“In our research of more than 20 shows across 16 markets, we found that no one was ever hooked on the pilot,” chief content officer Ted Sarandos said. “This gives us confidence that giving our members all episodes at once is more aligned with how fans are made."

The study showed legal drama Suits and thriller The Killing caught Aussie viewers'  attention the quickest, hooking viewers after just three episodes. But it took 10 episodes before Australians were riveted to Arrow, versus eight eps in the rest of the Netflix world.

The differentials were 11/8 for How I Met Your Mother, 7/4 for Pretty Little Liars, 5/3 for House of Cards, 4/3 for Orange is the New Black, 5/4 for Bloodline and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and 3/2 for Suits and The Killing. 

Only in the case of Grace and Frankie was Australia aligned with the rest of the world at four episodes.

Overall, 70 per cent viewers who watched the hooked episode stayed for the entire season.

Netflix said the way subscribers are watching content means creators can tell their stories at a more natural pace with a storyline that unfolds over time and in the way they imagined.

Launched in March, Netflix has an estimated 1 million subscribers in Oz, including those who are still on free trials.