Netflix binge-watching drops 10 percent thanks to the solar eclipse

Sometimes what's going on outside even beats House of Cards for entertainment value: Netflix reports that its viewing figures were down 10 percent in North America as the shadow of the Moon rolled across the continent during yesterday's solar eclipse.

"Hey, just wondering why 10 percent of you chose to watch a giant rock cover a giant ball of gas when I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR YOU," tweeted the Netflix US Twitter account as the eclipse ended. 

"But really, there was a 10 percent drop in plays during the eclipse today. Well played, Moon."

Netflix has around 50 million subscribers in the US, the company said earlier this year, so as many as five million people chose a once-in-a-lifetime natural wonder show over the next episode of whatever it is they were watching (though presumably those subscribers weren't all watching at once).

Forward planning

Netflix subscribers weren't the only ones wowed by the solar eclipse that passed by yesterday. Google has called on photographers and astronomers across the US to submit their pictures of the event to make up a continuous 'megamovie' of the Sun's atmosphere as it encapsulates the Moon.

If you like to plan your eclipse chasing or Netflix watching in advance, the next time a full solar eclipse will be visible in the US is in 2024. Those of you in the UK will have to wait until 2090 - sorry - but the next one that can be seen in Australia is in 2028, and will be passing right over Sydney.

As for Netflix, it probably won't be too concerned about the dip in figures. In its latest earnings report, the company said it added 5.2 million new subscribers across the world in the last quarter, and is approaching 100 million subscribers overall.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.