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By Ethan Wolff-Mann
May 10, 2016
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images

It’s hard to say what part of Netflix customers love more: the lack of commercials or the ability to watch six seasons of Archer back to back to back to back to back to back. Clearly, they’re both part of the reason why a growing number of people are eschewing traditional cable for streaming.

But while the joy of binging is apparent each time you reach the end of a House of Cards episode and speed onto the next, the lack of commercials is generally less obvious—unless you really think about it.

Cordcutting.com did think about it, and tallied up all the hours Netflix saves the average television watcher. The results were pretty impressive—a savings of 6.6 days per year.

Their math is simple: According to Netflix data, the average subscriber watches 1 hour and 40 minutes of content per day. Meanwhile, Nielsen reports that the average TV hour contains 15 minutes and 38 seconds of ads. So if the average Netflix subscriber was watching on conventional TV, he’d be viewing about 26 minutes of ads per day, or 9,506 minutes of ads per year—which works out to 6.6 days of commercials per year.

That figure really puts the cable industry’s crisis into perspective. Some networks have been forced to slash the amount of ads they run every hour in order to compete. Last year, for example, TruTV halved the amount.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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