How people in Hong Kong, Taiwan spend time on Netflix

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Black Mirror (Season 4). Photo: Netflix

Viewers in Hong Kong and Taiwan have a ravenous appetite for the latest must-see online dramas. They usually take just 72 hours to watch a complete series, compared with the global average of four days, Netflix has reported.

Normally it would take three weeks to watch mega dramas such as Stranger Things or 13 Reasons Why on traditional major TV networks. But now, with online streaming services, it can take just days.

Still, Hong Kong and Taiwan are out on their own when it comes to speed and endurance.

That is why in Hong Kong watching shows for consecutive hours is called “boiling drama” in Cantonese, just like making a Chinese soup.

The data released by the streaming and video-on-demand company gave a glimpse of the habit of viewers in Hong Kong, whose people are known to work long hours, yet they are also spending long hours in entertainment.

The Netflix data were released this week in Taiwan as part of year-end statistics that showed its global membership of 109 million spent some 140 million hours watching Netflix shows this year.

The finding was consistent with how much Asians love movies and TV dramas. Google revealed this week that seven of the top 10 keywords in its searches were titles of TV drama series. Half of them were Chinese-language dramas produced by Television Broadcasts (TVB), Hong Kong’s free-to-air TV operator.

Hong Kong people’s infatuation with TV dramas can also be seen in the number of smart devices they have connected to program providers. Netflix data showed that Asian members have an average of three to five devices connected with their accounts.

That implies that typical users may have subscription access through their smart TVs, iPads, smartphones and probably home computers as well, assuming they do not share their accounts with non-paying subscribers.

The Netflix research also yielded some other interesting findings. It appears that customers’ usage of the service had a strong correlation with typhoons.

Hong Kong recorded the highest hours of usage on a single day on October 15 during Typhoon Khanun. The same was true for Taiwan when Typhoon Nesat hit the island on July 30.

But of course no matter what the weather is, it is hard to beat a record of a user who watched The Angry Birds Movie 97 times this year.

To round things off, Netflix also provided the top attractions for extramarital affairs, where someone watched with someone other than a spouse. The top three in this category were Black Mirror, Stranger Things and Sense8.

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