More Than Half Of Couples Consider "Cheating" And 28 Million U.S. Adults Have Already Confessed

May 16, 2013, 15:10 ET from Netflix, Inc.

LOS GATOS, Calif., May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) has unveiled revealing, new information that confirms a sneaking suspicion— more than half (51%) of couples are likely to "cheat"1—but don't start grilling your significant other or giving them the evil eye just yet.

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A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Netflix2 revealed 51% of those in a relationship would "cheat" on their spouse/partner/significant other by streaming a TV program(s) they agreed to watch together before their partner had a chance to watch it. More specifically, more than 28 million3 U.S. adults (12%) confessed they had already cheated and 10% admitted they had been "cheated on4." It seems as though sometimes that next episode of your favorite series is just too tempting to wait for your partner. Sneaking around with that addictive little show may seem like a minor form of infidelity—but don't be surprised if it leads to a few slamming doors and a bit of the silent treatment.

"Netflix continues to revolutionize entertainment by letting our members watch great content whenever and wherever they want, which seems to be leading to a cultural phenomenon of 'stream cheating'," said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix. "With that said, Netflix can't be held responsible for any trust issues, lovers' spats, or marital troubles that arise from watching ahead of your partner. We also will not cover any therapy sessions. As always, we advise to Watch Responsibly."


  • Among those in a relationship who would stream cheat, the highest percentage said they would be likely do so at home by themselves on the main TV (66%). Scandalously, 21% would watch in bed while their significant other was asleep and 5% said they would cheat in the bathroom.
  • Perhaps to get out of sleeping on the couch, results showed that many would take some kind of action to either hide or face the fact that they watched a TV program via streaming before their significant other, of whom…
    • 41% would not spoil scenes before they happened.
    • 14% would feel so guilty that they would have to confess.
    • 12% would re-watch and "fake it" with emotion. If there's one thing that can lead to more trouble, it's "faking it."
  • A little more reckless with their viewing habits, younger couples (26% ages 18-34) were more likely to have "cheated5" than older couples (10% ages 55+).
  • And while it can be said that men get a bad rap for "cheating," the study showed incriminating evidence, with over three quarters (77%) of men 18-34 in a relationship saying they would "cheat" – a significantly higher percentage than among attached women 18-34 (57%).  Sorry guys, we're just sharing the numbers.

WHAT DO COUPLES STREAM TOGETHER? Another interesting streaming trend indicated that comedy programming is viewed by 63% and drama is viewed by 59% of those who stream TV shows as a couple. On average, those who are married, living with a partner, or dating someone and stream TV shows as a couple do so six times per week, with younger couples (18-34) streaming at a higher rate of seven times per week. Just further indication that young adults have much more energy for everything.

1  By streaming TV program(s) they typically watch together without their spouse/partner/significant other' 2   Survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of Netflix from April 24-26, 2013 among 2,068 U.S. adults (of whom 1,358 are married, living with a partner or dating) ages 18 and older. 3 2010 Census, estimates 234.6 million adults ages 18+ residing in U.S: 234.6M x 0.12 (12%) who have "cheated" = 28.2M. 4  Their spouse/partner/significant other watched a program(s) via streaming before/without them. 5  Have watched a program(s) via streaming before their spouse/partner/significant other had a chance to watch it/them.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY The survey was conducted online within the United States between April 24th and April 26th, 2013 among 2,068 adults ages 18 and older (of whom 1,358 are married, living with a partner or dating). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Age, sex, ethnicity education, region, HH income weighted where necessary to bring into line w/ actual proportions in population. Where appropriate, data also weighted to reflect adult online pop. Propensity score weighting used to adjust for propensity to be online. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

ABOUT NETFLIX Netflix is the world's leading Internet television network with more than 36 million members in 40 countries enjoying more than one billion hours of TV shows and movies per month, including Netflix original series. For one low monthly price, Netflix members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments. Learn more about how Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is pioneering Internet television at or follow Netflix on Facebook and Twitter.

ABOUT HARRIS INTERACTIVE Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment.  Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Netflix, Inc.