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TV binge viewing is on the rise - and becoming more acceptable

Thursday, July 9th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Binge viewing – watching more than three episodes of a series in one day – is on the rise, according to a new report.

A survey by set top box manufacturers TiVo found that binge viewing is becoming both more popular and more socially acceptable.

Negative perception of binge viewing has dropped to 30% of respondents compared to 53% two years ago.

Overall, 92% of respondents reported binge viewing at some point, showing it is becoming a new norm.

Some of the most popular TV shows among binge viewers have been original series produced by Netflix, including House of Cards and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

According to the survey, 66% of season bingers – those watching an entire season in a few weeks – use Netflix to watch their favourite show in bulk.

TiVo’s chief research officer Jonathan Steuer said: “Bingeing is booming – not just during sparse stretches in the TV schedule over the summer or holidays, but year-round.

“As programmers such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon continue to release original programming a full season at a time, we expect this trend to accelerate.

Lost sleep

“TiVo’s new OnePass feature is ideally suited to maximise binge viewing efficiency – including full-season binging – across linear TV, VoD and OTT sources of content.”

The reasons most people gave for binge watching were to catch up on TV they had missed (28%) and learning about a show after a number of episodes had already aired (17%).

32% of those surveyed deliberately wait until the end of a series before watching a show, so they can watch the whole season at once.

Almost two thirds (61%) said they watch three or more episodes of a show when they have fallen behind and 39% said some shows are better when watched back-to-back.

The results of the survey suggest that binge viewing is not only becoming socially acceptable, but is also a way for families to spend time together.

31% of respondents said binge watching together is an important way they spend time with their spouse.

Bingeing on TV does have its risks, though. 52% said they feel sad when they get to the end of binge watching a series and 31% have lost sleep watching a show.

37% of people have spent an entire weekend bingeing a show.

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