Binge Viewing Grows In Popularity, Boosted By Netflix

Binge viewing is officially a “thing.”

Well, as much as anything is official.

But Netflix appears to have tapped into a latent consumer desire with its push to offer shows for binge viewing.

One of the first studies ever on this relatively new phenomenon reports that nearly two-thirds of bingers prefer a combination when it comes to their viewing, according to video services company Piksel, formerly KIT Digital, which commissioned the online study.

Sometimes bingers will go full marathon and watch all the episodes at once when available. At other times, they’ll “sip” and watch one to two episodes every few days. Overall, the online survey of 400 consumers found that 94% had binge-viewed a show.

As this sort of “gobble ’em up” style continues to take hold, it may cause a dip in live viewing. Of the respondents, only 11% watch their favorite TV shows live, while the rest rely on streaming, on-demand or DVR viewing. Recorded or on-demand is the most popular way to watch, with 57% citing those as their preferred viewing methods. 

Two-thirds said they prefer the all-at-once method Netflix has relied on with recent series such as “House of Cards,” while only 13% said they like the once-a-week release strategy of traditional TV.  

Expect more research on this trend, especially as Netflix’s services continue to grow. This week, The Diffusion Group predicted Netflix would double its domestic streaming hours to hit 26 billion in 2018, up from 13 billion this year. Also, Wall Street analyst Richard Greenfield at BTIG said in a blog post that Netflix could reach the 40 million subscriber mark in 2015, up from 31 million today, citing its original programming and low monthly price as growth drivers.

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