£530 million spend on energy to watch Netflix

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A new study from Uswitch.com has revealed we spent £530 million across the world on energy to watch Netflix during lockdown.

According to the research – which calculated spend based on global energy costs per KWh, the energy use of modern TVs and Netflix subscriber figures – global audiences spent a total of £530,125,880 over 3 months of lockdown.

The research took global costs per KWh and average television energy consumption to calculate the total cost of energy used to watch 2 hours of Netflix per day, based on global Netflix subscriber numbers. 2 hours per day is the average usage – though lockdown may well have increased the time we spend watching.

According to the study, the total amount spent on watching Netflix per year is £2,120,503,521.30.

  • New research reveals the global spend on electricity to power Netflix is £2,120,503,521.30
  • Data uses global costs per KWh and average television energy consumption to calculate the cost of 2 hours per day of watching
  • The UK has the second highest cost for a country at £245,873,114.79, behind the USA at £788,546,852.28
  • The average cost per person to watch Netflix in the UK is £22.20 per year – the tenth highest cost-per-person in the world
  • Orange Is The New Black is the most expensive show to watch by energy usage, with the UK spending £121,302,434.51 in total to watch all 7 seasons

Speaking of the research, Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch said:

“Lockdown has almost certainly impacted global spend on home energy and people will be thinking more about how the small things they do to use electricity in their home contributes to the bigger picture when it comes to their annual bills.

“Noting that energy costs are so different around the world, we wanted to explore the relative cost of common activities to understand how those differences impact us on a practical level.

“We encourage home energy users to regularly review their energy bills to identify any savings and to compare energy prices annually to ensure they’re getting the best deal possible.”

The research from Uswitch comprises data relating to a range of common household activities including charging a laptop, boiling a kettle and topping up an electric vehicle. The full study can be found at //www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/world-powers/.

Here are the top ten countries by total cost:

Country Total Lockdown Cost Lockdown Cost Per Person
United States £197,136,713.07 £3.28
United Kingdom £61,468,278.70 £5.55
Germany £48,081,015.55 £8.33
Brazil £31,568,343.54 £3.28
Spain £27,425,891.22 £6.06
France £27,140,204.85 £4.79
Japan £20,579,153.90 £5.55
Canada £19,798,065.22 £2.78
Netherlands £15,118,522.54 £4.54
New Zealand £11,427,454.68 £5.05

Energy costs per KWh and subscriber numbers differ between countries; the table below shows the top 10 countries by total Netflix cost:

  Country # of Subscribers Annual Cost (Country)
1 United States 60,103,000 £788,546,852.28
2 United Kingdom 11,073,894 £245,873,114.79
3 Germany 5,774,730 £192,324,062.18
4 Brazil 9,624,550 £126,273,374.16
5 Spain 4,529,200 £109,703,564.88
6 France 5,661,500 £108,560,819.41
7 Japan 3,707,463 £82,316,615.62
8 Canada 7,133,490 £79,192,260.90
9 Netherlands 3,328,962 £60,474,090.14
10 New Zealand 2,264,600 £45,709,818.70

The cost per person is dictated by the cost per KWh of electricity in the country and the total number of Netflix subscribers. The table below shows the top 10 countries by per-person cost:

  Country # of Subscribers Annual Cost (Per Person)
1 Denmark 927,354 £34.31
2 Germany 5,774,730 £33.30
3 Belgium 894,731 £28.26
4 Italy 1,585,220 £27.25
5 Ireland 283,075 £26.24
6 Portugal 248,010 £26.24
7 Spain 4,529,200 £24.22
8 Austria 645,411 £23.21
9 United Kingdom 11,073,894 £22.20
10 Japan 3,707,463 £22.20

Based on the cost per KWh in each country, the number of viewers of each show** and the length of five of the most watched shows of 2019 in hours, we can see how much each country spent watching each show:

Country Orange is the New Black You Umbrella Academy Dead To Me Stranger Things
United States £389,032,582.88 £25,397,617.34 £16,823,529.36 £6,007,671.06 £23,618,963.97
United Kingdom £121,302,434.51 £7,919,112.56 £5,245,666.19 £1,873,223.88 £7,364,518.95
Germany £94,883,806.14 £6,194,397.86 £4,103,205.15 £1,465,251.81 £5,760,589.98
Brazil £62,297,448.47 £4,067,028.90 £2,694,023.58 £962,034.02 £3,782,205.54
Spain £54,122,670.17 £3,533,346.38 £2,340,509.18 £835,794.26 £3,285,898.03
France £53,558,892.35 £3,496,540.68 £2,316,128.87 £827,088.07 £3,251,669.92
Japan £40,611,214.79 £2,651,264.03 £1,756,212.70 £627,142.38 £2,465,589.93
Canada £39,069,802.53 £2,550,634.41 £1,689,555.06 £603,338.98 £2,372,007.64
Netherlands £29,835,121.93 £1,947,757.19 £1,290,205.68 £460,731.58 £1,811,351.29
New Zealand £22,551,112.57 £1,472,227.66 £975,212.16 £348,247.61 £1,369,124.18
Italy £21,310,801.38 £1,391,255.14 £921,575.49 £329,093.99 £1,293,822.35
Poland £17,874,071.97 £1,166,891.57 £772,955.76 £276,021.98 £1,085,171.48
Sweden £16,664,414.30 £1,087,920.23 £720,644.69 £257,341.73 £1,011,730.68
Denmark £15,698,962.09 £1,024,891.61 £678,894.16 £242,432.65 £953,116.10
Belgium £12,473,748.70 £814,336.67 £539,421.34 £192,627.00 £757,306.80
Switzerland £8,637,078.11 £563,863.32 £373,506.34 £133,378.86 £524,374.68
Finland £8,083,292.75 £527,709.98 £349,558.16 £124,826.98 £490,753.24
Austria £7,391,127.14 £482,522.61 £319,625.78 £114,138.15 £448,730.45
India £7,216,356.02 £471,112.85 £312,067.89 £111,439.23 £438,119.74
Colombia £6,515,020.01 £425,326.80 £281,738.95 £100,608.79 £395,540.19
Ireland £3,664,555.79 £239,236.99 £158,471.98 £56,590.24 £222,482.68
Portugal £3,210,620.80 £209,602.29 £138,841.77 £49,580.30 £194,923.36
Peru £2,697,115.45 £176,078.58 £116,635.48 £41,650.45 £163,747.40
Chile £2,577,028.74 £168,238.84 £111,442.38 £39,796.00 £156,456.69
Turkey £1,982,436.08 £129,421.43 £85,729.51 £30,613.95 £120,357.75
Romania £970,888.83 £63,383.54 £41,985.63 £14,993.04 £58,944.65
South Africa £774,229.80 £50,544.85 £33,481.20 £11,956.11 £47,005.08
Greece £699,477.34 £45,664.70 £30,248.57 £10,801.74 £42,466.70
Argentina £452,150.01 £29,518.18 £19,553.01 £6,982.37 £27,450.95

 

Chris Price
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