The Ringing of the (Door) Bells

Why Netflix Pausing Surges on Halloween Night and Peaks at 7:29 p.m.

It’s October 31, All Hallows’ Eve. The time is 7:29 p.m. Out of nowhere, a bell sounds, a leaden ding-dong, ding-dong that reverberates through the house like a tell-tale heart. And then you realize: it’s coming from the front door! Is the remote control nearby? Because you’ve got to press pause on Stranger Things before greeting the expectant ghosts and goblins that await.

Pausing and playing can be a real workout for the thumbs of Netflix members who stay on front-door duty to greet The Walking Dead on Halloween night. Fortunately, this year they can consult a guide to “Pause and Effect,” with suggestions for shows that are fast and fun like Fuller House to watch when the creepies are crawling and what Stranger Things to turn to after they’ve gone home.

Does this back and forth between pause and play sound all-too-familiar? Well, now we know why. Today, the crack team of Netflix data scientists in the Candy and Confections Division announced that pause rates across the country increase up to 30 percent during trick-or-treating. That’s right, many Netflix members are pressing pause before they get up to pass out fun-size monster munchies. Nationwide, the pause rate peaks at 7:29 p.m., which makes it the golden hour to maximize your Halloween haul.

“More pauses mean more candy. It’s really that simple,” says Dr. Heathcliff Barr, Chief Candy Officer at Netflix. “We love Halloween and hope that our tips help Americans either to scoop up as much candy as they possibly can or to enjoy their favorite scream-reel on Netflix without too many hair-raising interruptions.”

Researchers at Netflix also uncovered several “Candy Capitals” scattered across the country – great news for trick-or-treaters in Tallahassee, FL, Binghamton, NY, and Lima, OH. Unfortunately, Jack- and Jill-o-lanterns in Helena, MT, Jackson, TN, and Columbia, MO, which ranked lowest in Halloween pause rates, may not be so lucky this year.

Netflix wants all its members to enjoy a safe but spooky Halloween, whether they’re trick-or-treating or play-and-pausing. And for those who wish to avoid interruptions to The Wicker Man but still want to be a good neighbor, Netflix has devised a treat: a Halloween Doorbell Hack, which should do the trick.



This research used a metric of number of pauses per hour of Netflix viewing. The 2015 Halloween Night value was compared to the metric from the preceding week, and a relative increase in pause frequency was established. Assuming that additional pausing on Halloween night corresponds to Netflix members interrupting their viewing to hand out candy, regions were ranked by the amount of candy being given out.

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 86 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

October 28, 2016 2:25pm ET by Netflix, Inc.   Comments (0)

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