At this point, spending hours watching TV shows on Netflix is just a part of life, as common as going to Starbucks every morning or stalking your exes on Instagram. But five short years ago, that wasn't the case. Monday, Feb. 6 marks the five-year anniversary of the premiere of Netflix's first original series, Lilyhammer and the streaming service has come a long way since then. So far, in fact, that if you wanted to watch every Netflix original series since Lilyhammer kicked things off in 2012, it would take you over a month of non-stop viewing — and that's before you add in the time you'll need for sleeping, bathroom breaks, and meals. If you break the exact number down by year, you'll be shocked to see just how much the service's original programming has grown in that time.
As the infographic below shows, Netflix got off to a slow start with its originals. In 2012, Lilyhammer Season 1 was its only offering and the co-production with Norway's NRK1 only spanned six hours and two minutes. By the next year, however, Netflix had expanded into children's programming and launched some of the series that would become its tentpoles, like Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards, releasing over 53 hours of new original content.
There was another big jump to 2014, which totaled 86 hours thanks to new seasons of returning originals, even more kids' shows, and a few more series premieres. From there, things really exploded, as you can see in the graph below, which tracks how much original programming Netflix premiered each year down to to the minute.
After looking at those numbers, it should come as no surprise that Netflix saw record amounts of subscribers in 2015, according to The Verge, and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told the website in January 2016, "We're releasing more shows in the next quarter than many networks will in a whole year." He wasn't exaggerating, as 2015's 244 hours (which equals over 10 days) of original content more than doubled by the next year.
The most impressive thing is, not much changed between 2014 and 2015 in terms of content, besides sheer amount. Those 244 hours simply consist of additional seasons of now long-running series like House of Cards and Hemlock Grove, even more children's series (especially animated), and the premieres of brand news shows that have already become pop culture mainstays. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Making A Murderer, and Daredevil all premiered in 2015, solidifying Netflix as the go-to destination for exciting, acclaimed new drama, comedy, and non-fiction series alike.
By 2016, Netflix had built an extensive stable of series that weren't going anywhere and capitalized on their popularity by launching 50 new original series — and none of this even counts its rapidly growing amount of films, documentaries, and comedy specials. From the Jan. 15 debut of Degrassi: Next Class to Chasing Cameron kicking off on Dec. 27, hardly a week went by in 2016 without the premiere or return of a Netflix original.
It's this increasing commitment to new content that helped Netflix grow its offerings to a whopping 966 hours in less than five years — and for anyone trying to do the math, that's over 40 days worth of TV shows to consume. And considering that only one month into 2017, it has already premiered six original series, it's safe to assume we'll end up spending even more time watching Netflix in the next five years.