Binge watching TV is an actual official thing according to this 2015 survey carried out by TiVo where ninety-two percent of the respondents admitted that they usually watched multiple episodes of a television program in rapid succession. Australia is the eighth highest binge watching country in the world.
Most of us are guilty (don’t feel guilty!) of this, getting our snacks lined up and settling into our most comfortable position to complete an entire series in a single night.
‘60% of all TV viewers report watching two or more episodes of a show in a row.’
But why do we binge watch TV?
Binge watching TV is a relatively new phenomenon (well, some of us have been doing it for way longer than we should have) which is mostly driven by the ease at which these TV shows are offered up to us. Over the years, there have been several advances in technology that have changed the way we react to media. The introduction of recording devices like the VCR and TiVo allowed people to record shows and movies without having to rely on a TV schedule. It also allowed people to share these shows with their friends and create playlists of popular shows. Seems so retro now, doesn’t it?
DVD and streaming services took this a step further by giving users to entire seasons without having to wait for weekly episodes. This level of access to lots of episodes of the same show, which were originally intended to be viewed once a week is the major starting point for our binge watching.
I remember the first time I seriously binge watched a show. It was about eight years ago and I was housesitting a friend’s house. I told myself I might as well watch twenty minutes of Breaking Bad. This is not hyperbole when I say that I watched it for six hours straight. And thus my love of binge watching was born.
For the love of binge watching
Another reason we love it so much is that binge watching TV actually makes us feel more relaxed. People take solace in the world they choose to tune into and feel more tranquil when viewing this alternate world. However, this relaxed feeling disappears as soon as you turn the TV off and we are subconsciously aware of this. This keeps us watching episode after episode to keep that relaxed feeling going. Can you relate to this relaxation addiction?
Finally, scriptwriters have caught on to the fact that most viewers binge watch their shows and have begun writing for it. This is why I love the entertainment industry. Unlike many other industries, they adapt to their demographics’ behaviour as soon as they notice trends in data.
Most modern TV shows now feature engaging storylines with complex and surprising cliff-hangers to keep their viewers glued. And as we’ve looked at, TV shows are varying their length to suit all sorts of viewers.
Do you remember your first binge watch? What was it?