Indian commuters are coping with their terrible commutes by watching Netflix

That’s the beauty of on-demand video.
That’s the beauty of on-demand video.
Image: Courtesy of Netflix
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Netflix’s subscribers are setting their own “primetime” streaming hours around the world.

Globally, streaming on the web-video service peaks around 9pm on weekdays, according to data provided by Netflix—the US included. Keeping in line with Americans’ viewing habits in the 90-year history of television, that’s also when most viewers tune in to traditional TV, Nielsen data shows.

But, in India, Netflix streaming peaks at 5pm, the earliest primetime in the world. It’s not unusual for workers in India to spend one to three hours commuting each way by bus, train, or car, which explains the heavy viewing during those hours. Mobile video, which accounts for 60% of mobile data traffic, is also on the rise the country, so viewers can stream on the go. Subscribers there are also 82% more likely to watch Netflix at 9am than the rest of the world, Netflix found.

Meanwhile, in places like Argentina, Mexico, and Singapore, which are known for having long work hours, streaming peaks much later—around 10pm.

While streaming in the US, which makes up about half of Netflix’s 100 million subscribers, peaks at 9pm, too, Americans are also likely to set their own schedules. Parents of young children, who have limited time to sit and watch TV, for example, tend to peak a little bit earlier—around 8pm when the kids go to bed, a Netflix spokesperson said.

So what are people watching when streaming peaks in the evening or at night? They’re usually catching up on dramas, Netflix found. Globally, thrillers like The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, and Breaking Bad see a 27% increase in streaming come 9pm.