December 14, 2018

Many Admit to Watching Netflix at Work and in the Bathroom

About 37 percent of Americans who streamed shows or movies outside their homes said they did so at work. Credit Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Behold the versatile public restroom: It’s a refuge, a place to steel one’s nerves and, for some, a personal theater.

According to new data from the video giant Netflix, about 12 percent of Americans who watch television shows or movies outside of the home admit to having done so in a public restroom. And 37 percent say they’ve watched at work.

That’s according to the results of a survey commissioned by Netflix and conducted in the late summer by SurveyMonkey. The poll was based on responses from tens of thousands of people around the world, including 1,600 Americans, balanced by age and gender. It found that two-thirds of Americans stream movies and TV shows in public.

The use of both smartphones and streaming services is on the rise, according to the Pew Research Center. But details about how American viewing habits are changing are hard to find. Streaming companies, including Netflix, have been reluctant to share such data except when it serves their own interests, and third-party trackers have been slow to catch up.


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Still, the Netflix survey, released on Tuesday, provides some insight into a growing phenomenon: As Americans spend more time watching video on computers, smartphones and tablets, media consumption patterns and social customs are shifting.

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