Netflix Knows When You’ll Go From Browsing to Binge Watching


Did you get to the second episode of Breaking Bad? How about the third episode of Orange Is The New Black? Chances are you then devoured the entire series.

Netflix has crunched the numbers to determine when, exactly, people go from casually trying out a new show to binge-watching it to the detriment of whatever other social obligations they might have had. As it happens, that point almost never happens during the pilot episode. For some shows, it’s the second episode. For others, it might take as many as eight episodes for viewers to get hooked. 

Click to enlarge image

To figure out who binge-watched, Netflix analyzed data from popular shows like Dexter and Mad Men, determining which episode served as the deciding factor for viewers torn between giving up on a new show and committing to a whole season. If 70 percent of people watched the entirety of season one (and beyond) after completing a certain episode, that’s what the company considers the “hook” episode. So, for instant-binge shows like Breaking Bad, most people either quit after the pilot, or watch the second and then rush through the whole series. Shows like How I Met Your Mother are more of a slow burn—people didn’t get hooked until the eighth episode. Mad Men took six episodes to get viewers attached to its characters and story arcs.  

There were also some regional differences. People in Australia and New Zealand tended to hold out longer, starting their full-out binge two episodes later than other countries for most shows. Viewers in the Netherlands, by contrast, seemed to get hooked before viewers in other countries.  

The data came from viewers watching season one of these shows in the first half of 2015, so they may not represent the most avid television consumers (Breaking Bad ended two years ago). The data might look a little different for the TV-obsessed Netflixer watching a buzzy new show right when it comes out. 

[h/t: Fast Company]

All images courtesy Netflix

The Annual Festivals That Draw the Most People in Every State

Every state has that one big event each year that draws residents from across the region or even across the nation. Louisiana has Mardi Gras. Kentucky has the Kentucky Derby. South Dakota has Sturgis. Genfare, a company that provides fare collection technology for transit companies, recently tracked down the biggest event in each state, creating a rundown of the can't-miss events across the country.

As the graphic below explores, some states' biggest public events are national music and entertainment festivals, like Bonnaroo in Tennessee, SXSW in Texas, and Summerfest in Wisconsin—which holds the world record for largest music festival.

Others are standard public festival fare. Minnesota hosts 2 million people a year at the Minnesota State Fair (pictured above), the largest of its kind in the U.S. by attendance. Mardi Gras celebrations dominate the events calendar in Missouri, Alabama, and, of course, Louisiana. Oktoberfest and other beer festivals serve as the biggest gatherings in Ohio (home to the nation's largest Oktoberfest event), Oregon, Colorado, and Utah.

In some states, though, the largest annual gatherings are a bit more unique. Some 50,000 people each year head to Brattleboro, Vermont for the Strolling of the Heifers, a more docile spin on the Spanish Running of the Bulls. Montana's biggest event is Evel Knievel Days, an extreme sports festival in honor of the famous daredevil. And Washington's biggest event is Hoopfest, Spokane's annual three-on-three basketball tournament.

Mark your calendar. Next year could be the year you attend them all.

A graphic list with the 50 states pictured next to information about their biggest events
Ben Leuner, AMC
You Can Cook (Food) With Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in the Original Breaking Bad RV
Ben Leuner, AMC
Ben Leuner, AMC

A new contest is giving Breaking Bad fans the chance to cook a meal with Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. A new charity fundraising campaign is sending one lucky fan and a friend out to Los Angeles to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Breaking Bad’s premiere with the stars themselves—Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and that beat-up RV.

“That’s right, the real Walter White and Jesse Pinkman will join you in The Krystal Ship to whip up some delicious food, take tons of pictures, and bond over the most addicting show ever made,” the contest’s page on the charity fundraising site Omaze trumpets.

All you have to do to throw your (porkpie) hat in the ring is break out your wallet and donate to a good cause. Every dollar you donate to the contest through Omaze is basically a raffle ticket. And the more you donate, the better your odds are of winning. Each dollar donated equals 10 entries, so if you donate $10, you have 100 chances, if you donate $25, 250 chances, etc. At higher donation levels, you’ll also get guaranteed swag, including T-shirts, signed set photos by Cranston and Paul, props and scripts from the show, and more.

Technically, you can enter without donating, but don’t be a jerk—it’s for the kids. The proceeds from the contest will go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Kind Campaign, an anti-bullying charity.

The contest winner will be announced around September 12, and the big event will take place on September 15.

Donate to win here. The contest ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on August 30.


More from mental floss studios