New Netflix equation creepily knows when you'll fall in love with a series

Sep 25, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Image: Pascal Le Segretain / Staff / Getty Images

Netflix is a brilliant streaming service and we love that we can watch all our favourite series without having to wait for them to air once a week. Netflix knows this, but they also know when you're going to become hooked on a program.

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According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Netflix has crunched the numbers for over two dozen popular TV series and now knows which episode is going to hook its viewers.

Creepy indeed.

Netflix number crunching data gets you hooked

In Australia and New Zealand, Netflix used data from subscribers' accounts between April and July to determine the outcome.

But what exactly does "hooked" mean?

"Netflix defines 'hooked' as when 70 per cent of viewers who watched an episode went on to complete season one," the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

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Netflix data equation knows when you'll get hooked

How long it takes to become addicted to each series largely depends on the strength of the show itself, but in comparison to American audiences, Australians tend to take longer to become hooked on the TV drug, and it takes us roughly one or two more episodes.

It took Australians four episodes to get hooked on Orange Is the New Black, while it took three to hook the rest of the surveyed countries. And while it took us five episodes to get hooked on House of Cards, it took the other countries only three episodes.

Netflix data knows when you'll become hooked on a show

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Netflix's new data also proved something else: Pilots are not as important as we originally thought.

"Given the precious nature of primetime slots on traditional TV, a series pilot is arguably the most important point in the life of the show," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. "However, in our research of more than 20 shows across 16 markets, we found that no one was ever hooked on the pilot. This gives us confidence that giving our members all episodes at once is more aligned with how fans are made."

Netflix data knows when you'll become hooked on a series

But you can breathe a sigh of relief if you're terrified that Netflix is going to influence the way that future series are made, because they have no plans to use this data.

"This won't have any direct effect on the creative process for our showrunners/creators," a Netflix rep told Variety.

Oh, Netflix, how we love you.

Netflix data knows when you'll become hooked on a series

Do these statistics sound about right to you? Let us know your thoughts (and your favourite series) in the comments below.