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Americans' Newest Media Addiction

By Maura Mitchell

Almost half of the US population regularly binges on TV shows. That means they watch between 2 and 6 episodes at one sitting via on demand, Netflix, Hulu or some other streaming mechanism.

These marathon viewing sessions are not being done by lonely couch potatoes eating family sized bags of chips while watching 20 hours of non-stop Hobo Kelly reruns.

Instead, bingeing is a social activity. 51% of consumers binge with another person and most will delay watching their favorite show until others are available. The content being viewed is almost evenly split between current and older shows, with series like Breaking Bad topping the bingeing charts.

Binge viewing makes people feel good. They enjoy taking control of when and where they see shows. Plus, they like the added escapism that comes from watching multiple episodes back-to-back. In fact, the majority of people who stream any TV content say they prefer to binge rather than view single shows.

Currently, 73% of binge watchers do so via a TV set, 22% via a computer and 3% on a tablet. However, among 18-29 year olds only 50% binge view on a TV set, while 42% use a computer and 6% watch on a tablet.

What are the implications for your business?
  • Have you adjusted your media schedule to reflect that consumers are watching back-to-back episodes?
  • Are you exploring new ways to target people who binge watch in commercial-free environments?
For help developing powerful marketing strategies that drive results, strategic plans that deliver  growth,  or  new  products  that  consumers  love, contact Brandology at 925-417-2253 or
Sources: Forbes 2013, Harris Interactive 2013 

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