The average person has 13 TV shows and 16 movies on their watch list to get through — averaging a total of 104 hours — enough content to last for a globe-trotting flight around the world twice over.
According to a survey of 2,000 adults, 68% of Americans have a TV show and movie watch list so long that it’s “nearly impossible” for them to get through it.
Over seven in 10 (73%) have a list of shows and films they’ve been meaning to watch. Yet only 58% of them have made it through their entire list.
Meanwhile, of the 42% who have failed to make it through their list, they claim the biggest obstacles are dealing with the list consistently getting longer (43%), that it’s already too long (29%) or that it’s overwhelming (25%).
The most popular, well-known shows at the top of people’s current watch list include “Stranger Things” (24%), “Game of Thrones” (21%), “The Walking Dead” (21%), “Breaking Bad” (19%) and “Squid Game” (19%).
Millennials are nearly twice as likely to have true crime shows on their watchlists than Gen Z (45% compared to 26%). Gen Z, on the other hand, was found to have a penchant for sitcoms (38%). Gen X and baby boomers both prefer full-hour procedurals (50% and 58%, respectively).
The study, commissioned by the global streaming media platform Plex and conducted by OnePoll, found that 58% said they struggle to keep track of everything they want to watch, making organizing their watch list a “must.”
When organizing the list of content they want to watch, 39% said they either use a note on their phones or a physical, written list to track shows and movies, while 40% say they just try to remember what they want to watch.
Women were found to be especially fond of keeping a mental list in their head — 46% said they try to remember what they want to watch, compared to just 32% of men. Meanwhile, 46% of men said they prefer using a note on their phones.
Nearly a third (31%) have had the content from their list recommended to them by friends or family. A quarter (25%) get recommendations from influencers or social media.
“With the high volume of amazing new shows and movies that are released weekly, it can be overwhelming to keep track of everything you want to watch,” said Jason Williams, product director at Plex. “A universal watchlist that tracks movies and shows across all major streaming platforms, will help you manage what to watch and where to watch it.”
While people’s lists continually grow, getting to a point where they can watch content is becoming just as complex.
The average person subscribes to or has access to four different streaming platforms at any given time. Half said it’s a struggle to find out what streaming platform content is on, averaging 30 minutes flipping from one platform to another searching for something to watch.
Two-thirds (65%) said they would prefer watching something from their list before defaulting to something else — but it takes the average person a half hour and flipping back and forth between four different streaming platforms to decide on what to watch.
For over half (56%), they’ll opt to turn off the TV and find something else to do if they can’t find something to watch, and almost as many (55%) will end up re-watching an old favorite if they can’t find anything else.
“You shouldn’t have to flip back and forth between apps to find what you want to watch,” continued Williams. “For many, the ideal, most enjoyable streaming experience should be accessible across the web, mobile, and TV — it should also know what content you have access to, your interests, and your watchlist.”
Top 15 shows on people’s watch lists
- Stranger Things – 24%
- Game of Thrones – 21%
- The Walking Dead – 21%
- Breaking Bad – 19%
- Squid Game – 19%
- The Crown – 18%
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – 18%
- Euphoria – 18%
- The Mandalorian – 18%
- Better Call Saul – 18%
- Friends – 17%
- Avatar: The Last Airbender – 17%
- Sherlock – 16%
- Succession – 16%
- Ted Lasso – 15%