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Netflix survey suggests users are unashamed of watching in public

The invention of the television pulled many people away from public cinemas and back into the privacy of their own homes. But now, as smartphones make it easier to watch movies and series anywhere you go, entertainment is finding itself once again moving out into the public sphere.

Interested in the way its users were interacting with its content outside of their homes, Netflix surveyed over 37 000 users in 22 countries (unfortunately not including South Africa). It found that 67% of users were willing to watch content outside of their homes.

These users are apparently so into their streaming that they ranked “access to movies and TV shows” as more important than food or water when travelling.

Less ridiculously, nearly half of them have noticed other people watching their screen behind them, but it seems that guilty pleasures are a thing of the past. Only 18% reported that they were embarrassed about what they were watching (The Sense8 orgy scene? Absolutely any scene from Big Mouth?), while a wonderful 77% refuse to turn off their screens because of others.

The snooper, in fact, has significantly less power than you may think. According to Netflix’s results, 11% of those who watch in public have been spoiled by what is on someone else’s screen. And for South Koreans? That number jumps to 24%.

But it’s not all “Snape kills Dumbledore” and “Bruce Willis is dead”– sometimes it’s “Friendship is magic”. Netflix says that 27% of public users have been interrupted by a stranger wanting to discuss what they were watching — or perhaps they just wanted to stop the flow of tears.

Apparently 20% of public watchers have cried in the open, which may be be relatable if you’re from Mexico, Colombia, and Chile as these were the most outwardly emotional countries surveyed. Sticking to stereotypes, the Germans are the least likely to bawl on a train ride home.

Netflix has released a few similarly quirky surveys in the past, including one about cheating on your partner by watching a show without them, and parents watching their teens’ shows to feel closer to them.

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More

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