By Sahil Patel
Binge-watching is the Newest Thing in the entertainment business. Popularized by Netflix, even before the company began releasing its slate of critically acclaimed original content, it’s a practice that other online video players are now also looking to replicate. It’s easy to see why: People like to watch their favorite stuff online, and watch a lot of it.
How much? According to a new study conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Netflix, 61% of “TV streamers” (defined as online US adults who stream TV shows at least once a week) binge-watch regularly. Per the study. this means TV streamers who binge 2–3 episodes in one sitting at least every few weeks.
And while binge-watching can mean spending your entire Sunday catching up on every series of “Luther,” most respondents do not see it that way. According to the study, 73% of respondents define binge-watching as watching between 2–6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting.
Obviously, they also enjoy the activity, as 73% of study respondents said they have “positive feelings” toward binge-watching.
“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,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, in a statement. “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.” The Harris Interactive study backs this up, with 76% of respondents reporting that streaming TV shows on their own schedule is the way they prefer to watch them.
Among the other interesting findings? Apparently some people like to wait to watch a new show until there are multiple episodes available. Over one-third (37%) of respondents said they prefer to “save” new TV shows or seasons to stream at a later date.