Netflix: Binge TV watching is the new normal
Spending hours on the sofa watching multiple episodes of a television show is very common, the video-streaming company says.
By Rex Crum
"Binge viewing," also known as "sitting around in your sweatpants all weekend and doing nothing but watching 12 straight hours of a TV show," is with us to stay.
It's a practice tailor-made for watching all of a brand new show that you might have just heard of. It's also perfect if you are a fan of some program that has been off the air for years, and now you can watch all 80 episodes of, say, the original "Star Trek" series.
Of course, if you did that, you might also need to heed the advice from William Shatner, Capt. James T. Kirk himself, who in a famous "Saturday Night Live" sketch from 1986, chided a group of "Trekkies" at a one of the show's conventions to "get a life!"
One of those places where you can binge on "Star Trek," and thousands of other shows, is on Netflix (NFLX), which on Friday went so far as to call binge viewing "the New Normal."
Netflix was able to do this via the results of a study it commissioned of its viewers in order to get a sense of just how popular binge viewing is, and what actually constitutes binge viewing behavior. The study, conducted on Netflix's behalf by Harris Interactive, occurred online between Nov. 25 and 27, and consisted of 3,078 adults, aged 18 or older, out of which almost 1,500 streamed TV shows at least once a week.
The results said 61% of respondents binge-watch "regularly," by "watching 2-3 episodes at least every few weeks." The study also said that 73% of respondents "have positive feelings toward binge watching TV," and 73% also defined binge watching as watching between two and six episodes of the same TV show in a single sitting.
Other findings from the study included:
- Forget Facebook (FB). The survey said 80% of TV streamers would rather stream a good TV show than read a friend's social-media posts.
- You're not a recluse. Well, not entirely. Netflix said that "among those who ever stream multiple episodes of a TV series in a row," 38% were most likely to do so by themselves, but 51% prefer to binge with another person watching with them.
- Regular TV's not going away. The survey found that 65% of TV streamers would still want to watch TV even "if they took a digital timeout" from streaming.
With Netflix adding more TV shows almost daily, and building up its original programming with entire seasons of shows like "House of Cards," "Orange Is The New Black," "Arrested Development" and "Derek" available all at once, it’s probably safe to say that binging is only going to grow in the years to come.
Whether that means you have got a life, well, that's another matter entirely.
More from MarketWatch
I live in an area (rural) where cable isn't available, and since I'm retired, the cost of cable or dish is too much anyway.
I'm retired. Yes, I do 'binge-watch' at times? Well, the temperature last night was -24 degrees with a wind-chill of -45. Watching about 5 hours of a TV mini-series beats frost-bite? Then we got an inch of snow when it warmed-up to about 6 degrees? Kicked back on my recliner, covered up with a quilt and spent about 5 hours watching a program that kept me coming back for more? Maybe finish it tonight?
I love Netflix! I can pause it, or stop it, then pick it up the next day where I left off.
Oh, spent most of today thawing frozen water pipes...
They have a name for everything. I guess then you would say I am "binge Netflixer". Why? we live in rural area we do not have cable (antennas still exist) so we never got to see these shows first time around. Also we can watch them on our time schedule. Sorry to inform you Robbin 1620 I have an active live always form TV also. So when those "reality shows" are on during my time to watch I binge on the shows that I want to watch. I get to watch old tv show , Discover Channel shows and my wife get to watch foreign movies.
ELO, Springsteen, McCartney, Bee Gees, ABBA, Doors, Doobie Brothers, Foreigner, ETC. ETC.
I love to watch all these old classic concerts.....................NETFLIX IS GREAT
Reporters are not reporters any longer, they are shills for corporations.
This isn't news. It's browbeating and instigating. It's actually trolling-- the worst form-- CORPORATE trolling. The only way you can stop it from continuing is to write messages like this one to wake people up as to how they're being manipulated.
You might say, "Hey, what's wrong with telling this company how I feel," but at the same time have you accepted the fact that telephone consumer surveys are way down and they have to PAY people to take them now??
Remember the formula and you won't be taken in by these emotionally and scientifically retarded articles again. Accuse you of doing something wrong and they call you stupid. If it does that then it's only aiming to make the discussion responders feel emotional and feel the need to explain themselves. They KNOW already that you're going to disagree with the article content!!!
binge viewing is little different from reading a book all day.
it's just that TV viewing never offered the oportuntity to continue with a story line like netflix allows it to be presented.
Seems strange to call this "binge viewing"....
Way back in the day...Without commercial interruption.
We could go to a "double feature", see the News trailers, 2 Cartoons and coming events(movies).
Kept us busy on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
Watching 3 episodes of anything, on disk or tape, only takes the time to watch 2 of regular programing....And you have a continuing story line also..."Binge", I think not..?
But I also DVR three or four episodes of Perry Mason (the old TV series), then binge-view 'em all in one afternoon while I sew. Yes, I have to ff through commercials, but I don't mind. With a few exceptions, the old stuff is far better than most current garbage.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.