Binge TV Viewing May Be Slowing Down

Is binge TV watching reaching a saturation point?

Forrester Research says there is some topping out of binge viewers when looking at three factors:  the percentage of viewers who engage in the behavior; the number of times per month they binge; and the number of viewing hours per session.

For example, among younger millennials (18-26s), the percentage of those who binge watched at least once in the past month dropped to 74% in 2015 from 78% in 2014. Gen-Xers (36-49s) have slowed down even more to 54% in 2015 from 63% 2014.

Those young millennials are also doing fewer binge sessions a month -- 3.0 in 2015 versus 3.4 in 2014. Gen-Xers have also dropped to 1.9 sessions from 2.3 sessions.

Forrester based its research on 3,119 US online adults (18-59s) in in May 2015 and 3,188 U.S. online adults (18 to 58) in 2014 who watch video in a typical month. Also, Forrester surveyed 1,961 U.S. online adults (18-59ers) who binge watched in the past month.

Good news for traditional linear TV networks: Heavy binge watchers also watch a lot of linear TV -- roughly the same amount of linear TV as those who don’t binge view.

Forrester Research says binge watchers watch 12.3 hours of week of linear TV and movies. This is about the same as those non-binge watchers, who watch 11.8 hours a week.

Binge TV watchers are big TV-video consumers overall: They watch 7.5 hours a week of streaming/downloaded TV or movies versus 3.4 hours a week for non-binge watchers. Additionally, 66% of binge watchers have one or more over-the-top/TV connections; 38% for those non-binge watchers.

Binge TV watchers tally 8% who are cord-cutters; 4% for those non-binge watchers.

These results comes from 2,203 US online adults, 18 years and older, who binge watched video in the past month; and 1,529 U.S. online adults, 18 years+, who did not binge watch video in the past month.

4 comments about "Binge TV Viewing May Be Slowing Down".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 22, 2016 at 11:08 a.m.

    According to this study a typical adult aged 18-59 ( a new "demographic"?) watches about 12 hours of "linear TV" per week, including "movies". Hmm? I hope the folks at Nielsen are taking notice as their peoplemeter findings are considerably higher. As for myself, my "binge viewing" is way up. I just finished watching 200 consecutive installments of the old "Looney Tunes" cartoons. Next up, the "Road Runner" series.

  2. Claudio Marcus from Visible World, April 22, 2016 at 3:08 p.m.

    Ed, the difference in time spent viewing is likely to be attributed to the fact that Forrester surveys online adults younger than 50 who self-report their viewing, whereas Nielsen reports on TV viewing for TV households (not just those with access to Internet), includes all members of the household, and it is not self-reported (at least for PeopleMeter households).

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 22, 2016 at 3:33 p.m.

    Possibly Claudio, however, I am deeply suspicious of self-reported studies which almost always indicate less viewing---often by a substantial margin---than studies like Nielsen's which begin with meterized set usage findings and lay in their "viewing" projections on top of what the meters reveal. Also, if you check the Simmons and MRI studies and compare the amount of claimed general TV viweing with what the same respondents say when asked about TV on a show by show basis---a far better reference point----the show by show totals are always far higher in aggregate than what the general, non show-specific, replies would indicate.

  4. Doug Garnett from Atomic Direct, April 22, 2016 at 4:54 p.m.

    Assuming the headline is accurate, the it's another example reminding us that the huge hype around things like "binge viewing" is exactly that - huge hype. We have a massive consultant class who make a living out of taking interesting mid level ideas and turning them into "the most important thing ever"... And that turns into loads of billing for them but not much for anyone else.

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