If you've ever asked a question and gone down the data-statistic rabbit hole, there's a 98.7 percent chance (or 1382 times out of 1400) that you'll find at least 3.4 million other numbers and stats.
In fact, entire news outlets (possibly two or three, even) are being born right this second based on data-driven storytelling. FiveThirtyEight and Vox have taught us to long for instant visual snapshots of how we live. Without them, how would we know that Minnesota requires about 20 inches of snow to call a snow day, or that Blue Moon is the most popular beer, or that Minnesota has the same GDP as Nigeria?
But just how much video on demand are we streaming each day and night? It's hard to say.
We do know that as TV viewing has changed, so have the habits of Minnesotans. In Minneapolis, for example, among viewers 18 and older, 62 percent of all primetime ratings are from live viewing while 33 percent are from "time-shifted" viewing and 13 percent are video-on-demand.
But that's primetime. How much of our winter days or nights are spent, say, watching 12 episodes in a row of the Gilmore Girls or Transparent or House of Cards? How many hours over a cold weekend are we on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime? And how is it changing how we live and connect?
I reached out to Netflix to ask about streaming by city and state, but the company spokesperson said, "Sorry, we don't provide this type of data." So it's up to us to draw (logical or illogical) conclusions about our changing habits.
We know that Minnesotans are especially wired. According to the most recent data, nearly 92 percent live in a household with a computer, compared to 88 percent of the rest of the country. And 83 percent live in a household with high-speed internet use, five percent higher than average.
What's more, in Minneapolis, 13 percent of homes now have Smart TVs, a 6 percent increase between May 2013 and 2014.
Plus, as an good data story will tell you, Minneapolis is the No. 1 Coldest Large City in America. So it would stand to reason (maybe, just maybe) that a super cold city that is also one of the most "connected" would also be one of the biggest binge watchers of everything under the big, shadowed blazing sun.
Yet we might have to watch another 238 seasons of new and old programming (in other words, about two years) to know the exact answers. That's because even though Nielsen has begun monitoring usage of Netflix and Amazon Prime among participants, the data won't be comprehensive, and will mostly be used to analyze how much video on demand viewing has cut into traditional TV viewing time.
So let's start with an unscientific survey: How much video on demand are you watching? What are you watching? And how much is it "cutting into" activities you were more likely to do a year a two ago?
(Full disclosure: Researching this post cut into my "Leave it to Beaver" and "WKRP in Cincinnati" binging by 23 percent).