You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Netflix Survey: Binge-Watching Is Not Weird or Unusual

Poll of online TV watchers finds 61% watch 2-3 episodes in one sitting at least every few weeks

Netflix says there’s no shame in bingeing on TV episodes — lots of regular folks do it, at least in smallish doses.

The Internet-video subscription company released results of a survey it commissioned that found 61% of those who watch TV shows online engage in binge-watching 2-3 episodes at least every few weeks.

That’s a pretty loose definition of binge-viewing, to be sure. Full-season gorging is less common: According to Netflix, of those who watched a full season within 30 days, 25% completed watching a 13-episode series in two days. Meanwhile, 73% of TV streamers said they have “positive feelings” about the habit.

Netflix’s point with the survey is to back up its model of releasing every episode at the same time — which runs counter to the TV biz’s practice of spacing out eps weekly to generate interest in a series. According to Netflix, the trend is something most people do, not some kind of fringe activity engaged in by hard-core, Diet Coke-slurping, pajama-clad freaks.

SEE ALSO: Why Everything You Know About Binge-Viewing Is Wrong

“Netflix has pioneered audience choice in programming and has helped free consumers from the limitations of linear television,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos boasted in announcing the survey results. “Our own original series are created for multi-episodic viewing, lining up the content with new norms of viewer control for the first time.”

Of course, Netflix didn’t actually invent the concept of consuming multiple episodes without pause. Television nuts were doing that years before “House of Cards” was a twinkle in Sarandos’ eye, through full-season releases of TV shows on DVD and via digital on-demand services.

And Netflix is deviating from the much-heralded binge strategy with “Turbo FAST” from DreamWorks Animation: Only the first five episodes (of 26 total) of the kids’ show about racing snails will be made available Dec. 24. Netflix says that’s an exception to the rule, gated by production capacity of DWA.

SEE ALSO: Why Binge Watch When There’s Tantric TV?

Interestingly, the binge-viewing Netflix encourages has led it to change its accounting method for spending on original series. Starting in the third quarter of 2013, the company is allocating a bigger chunk of originals costs in the first months of release (instead of straight-line accounting over the lifetime of the titles).

In the Netflix survey, 73% of those who watch TV shows online defined binge watching as watching between 2-6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting. While 38% of that group said they prefer to binge on a series alone, 51% like to watch with at least one other person; the remaining 11% said they don’t binge-watch.

Harris Interactive conducted the online survey on behalf of Netflix between Nov. 25 and 27, 2013, among 3,078 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. Of those 1,496 said they stream TV shows at least once per week.

More Digital

  • Etika-Desmond-Amofah

    Gaming YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah Found Dead, NYPD Says

    Desmond Amofah, a YouTube gaming vlogger known online as “Etika,” was found dead by New York police on Tuesday after he was reported missing last week. He was 29. Amofah posted YouTube videos and live-streams focused on Nintendo games and other titles. A body later confirmed to be Amofah’s was found in the East River on [...]

  • Paula Pell

    Quibi Orders Comedic Murder Mystery From Lorne Michaels, 'SNL' Alums

    Quibi keeps shelling out cash for content: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s richly funded startup has ordered a short-form murder-mystery comedy written by and starring former “Saturday Night Live” writers Paula Pell and John Lutz, and executive produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video alongside Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. In “Mapleworth Murders,” Pell (pictured above) is Abigail Mapleworth, [...]

  • View of the Public Library on

    New York City Public Libraries Drop Kanopy Free Movie-Streaming Service

    Kanopy suffered a blow with the decision by New York City’s three public library systems — collectively the biggest library system in the U.S., with some 210 branches across the Big Apple — to drop the free movie-streaming service, citing high costs. As of July 1, the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn and [...]

  • Cameo

    Celebrity Video Greetings Service Cameo Raises $50 Million

    Cameo, a service that works with celebrities to sell personalized video greetings to fans, has raised a $50 million Series B round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins. The Chernin Group, Spark Ventures, Bain Capital and Lightspeeed Venture Partners participated in the funding as well. Cameo wants to use the cash infusion to grow both [...]

  • Gena Konstantinakos - Topic

    Topic Hires Viceland's Gena Konstantinakos as VP, Development and Video Programming

    Topic, First Look Media’s entertainment studio and digital destination for original content, hired veteran producer Gena Konstantinakos as VP, development and video programming. Konstantinakos hails from Vice Media’s Viceland cable channel, where she was executive producer, development and current series. At Topic, she reports to Ryan Chanatry, general manager of Topic. Konstantinakos is tasked with [...]

  • Martin Kon - YouTube

    YouTube Hires Consultant Martin Kon as VP of Strategy

    Google’s YouTube tapped Martin Kon, who has worked as a tech, media, and telecoms consultant for more than two decades, as VP of strategy. Kon, based at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., reports to chief business officer Robert Kyncl. Kon will work with YouTube senior execs to help formulate the long-term vision of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content