The Real “Cost” of Watching Netflix

As the world becomes more digital, so do our entertainment preferences. The convergence of convenience and entertainment set in motion by streaming services like Netflix have revolutionized the entertainment industry. No longer do we have to carefully monitor tv schedules, making sure to have a blank tape on deck to record your favorite program. Now all you have to have is 20 free minutes and a friend with a Netflix subscription (the real MVPs) and you can have your favorite episode of the Office up and running.

However, we also know that it’s all too easy to watch one episode turn into two, and before you know it you’ve powered through an entire season of your favorite show and your responsible bedtime has come and gone. According to an article from Nielsen, the average American spends over 4 hours a day watching TV. Streaming services don’t discriminate–they’ll rob you of your weeknight and weekends alike, and leave your to-do list longer than it was before you started.

We’ve all been there, but it’s worth knowing just how much your weekend binge of Seinfeld is worth. A recent study from Finty broke down how much money you could be making through various side hustles if you redirected your time from the couch to the marketplace.

The study looked at the amount of money you could make in the time it would take you to watch popular tv shows from start to finish. It’s no surprise that the longer the tv show is, the more money you could make, but the numbers are still pretty impressive.

For example, even in a show with only a few seasons like “Stranger Things”, you could make almost $500 as a freelance writer in the time it would take you to watch it from start to finish. Take the same gig as a writer and put in the 456 hours it would take you to watch Law & Order through and you’ll find yourself with an extra $10,574 in your pocket. By doing a little creative writing instead of getting your courtroom drama fix, you could send yourself to college!

With more commonly binged sitcoms like “Friends”, or “How I Met Your Mother”, you could earn an average of over $1000 doing anything from babysitting to bartending. While $1000 might not be enough to pay the bills, it makes you think twice about your late-night plans.