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At one time commercials seemed like a big part of watching TV, but the advent of new technologies has made ads easier to avoid. The latest means of cutting out commercials is by subscribing to Netflix, which provides content to subscribers completely free of commercial breaks. Have you ever wondered exactly how much time you’re saving by watching Netflix instead of traditional TV? As it turns out, Netflix helps cut out hours of commercial time off of your yearly TV watching.
A new report from Cordcutting.com notes that consuming commercial-free programming on Netflix saves its subscribers an average of 160 total hours per year. They achieved this number by first dividing the amount of daily streamed Netflix content (125 million hours) by the current number of registered Netflix users (75 million), which comes out to around 1.67. They then multiplied that number by the amount of commercials in a typical TV hour over the course of a year (15 minutes and 38 seconds), and the end result came out to about 160 hours of commercials avoided by Netflix users.
Let’s just put that figure into perspective for a moment. The 160 hours breaks down to equal over a month’s worth of workweeks for the average full-time employee living in America. Think of all the things you could do with all of that free time – aside from binging more TV shows.
A side effect of this development is the fact that commercial space on traditional programming no longer goes at the same premium for advertisers. The advent of technology like TiVo and DVR has cut back on the value of commercials, and the rising popularity of Netflix and other subscription services has contributed to a decline in overall cable users, although advertising space is still incredibly valuable during live programs such as sporting events.
Of course, Netflix isn’t the only streaming service that offers commercial-free programming. Services like Hulu and YouTube also offer premium upgrades to membership that allow for consumption of content without breaking for commercials. While Hulu and Youtube do feature commercials in some forms, Netflix has never featured commercials with its content, and does not require any form up membership upgrade to sidestep commercial breaks.
It’s worth noting that the avoidance of commercials on a service like Netflix still comes at a price. Members for the service pay for the lack of advertising in their monthly subscription fees, and these fees have gone up as the service continues to rise in prominence and popularity.
As new technologies become more and more ubiquitous, advertisers will need to come up with increasingly clever means of peddling products to you. One thing is certain, at 160 hours of saved time, Netflix seems like an efficient way to consume television currently available.