Netflix is sharing results from a recent Harris Interactive survey, finding that out of 1,500 adult TV streamers in the U.S (those that stream shows at least once a week), 61% “binge watch” shows regularly.
73% of these people defined bing watching as watching between two and six episodes of the same show in one sitting, as opposed to weekend-long marathons.
Additionally, 73% say they have positive feelings towards binge watching, as opposed to feelings of guilt.
To go along with the Harris poll, Netflix hired cultural anthropologist Grant McCracken to “trace the evolution of binge watching” and go into people’s homes and “explore their changing TV behaviors”.
Probably not as creepy as it sounds.
“I found that binge watching has really taken off due to a perfect storm of better TV, our current economic climate and the digital explosion of the last few years,” says McCracken. “But this TV watcher is different, the couch potato has awoken. And now that services like Netflix have given consumers control over their TV viewing, they have declared a new way to watch.”
“TV viewers are no longer zoning out as a way to forget about their day, they are tuning in, on their own schedule, to a different world,” he says. “Getting immersed in multiple episodes or even multiple seasons of a show over a few weeks is a new kind of escapism that is especially welcomed today,”
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos adds, “Our viewing data shows that the majority of streamers would actually prefer to have a whole season of a show available to watch at their own pace. Netflix has pioneered audience choice in programming and has helped free consumers from the limitations of linear television. Our own original series are created for multi-episodic viewing, lining up the content with new norms of viewer control for the first time.”
79% said watching several episodes of shows makes them more enjoyable, and 76% said watching shows on their owns schedules is the preferred method. Lending more data to the theory that binge watching is a couples’ activity, 51% say they like to binge with at least one other person (compared to 38% for solo). 39% who prefer to save shows to watch later choose to stream saved series or seasons when the person they want to watch with is available.
80% of streamers say they’d rather stream a good show than read a friend’s social media posts. Who are these other 20%?
Fans can binge on the new season of Lilyhammer, as it just became available today. The second season of Netflix favorite House of Cards will be available for binge watching on Valentine’s Day. That should make for quite the romantic occasion.
Netflix recently announced the release schedule for its new kids show Turbo FAST, which has the first season broken up, leaving some to wonder if Netflix is altering its strategy of binge-inducing releases. Not so much. The release of these new findings further solidifies that this is not Netflix’s intention.
In fact, Netflix has already released one of its other shows in a fashion similar to its Turbo FAST plans. The company told BusinessWeek that it’s just about how the episodes are delivered to them. In most cases, it’s still going to be in a way that encourages binge watching.