Streaming media and bingers, a marriage made in heaven?
Binging is the preferred way for many Americans to watch television. In the US, 86% of adult broadband users binge at least occasionally, with 58% of 18-34s binging daily, according to The Diffusion Group (TDG).
This new information on how an adult watches television, coupled with the possibility of episode leaks, changes the perspective of how the streaming companies program their series.
Who is the binger?
The binger is a person who likes to see all the episodes of a series in marathons. And TDG, in the study they did, divides the profile of this user into three, according to their binge-watching habits:
- Heavy Bingers (binge daily, comprise 14 percent of ABUs);
- Medium Bingers (binge monthly but not daily, comprise 51% of ABUs);
- Light/Non-Bingers (21% of ABUs that binge less than once a month, 14 percent that do not binge at all).
This study also pointed out that the frequency of binging is strongly correlated with the viewer's age. For example, 58 percent of Heavy Bingers are between the ages of 18 and 34, while 56% of Light/Non-Bingers are aged 45 and older.
“For more than a decade, TDG has predicted and observed a structural transformation in what it means to ‘watch TV,’ with viewing behaviour slowly changing from an activity defined by flipping between different live shows on different networks, to one characterized by on-demand binging of individual series”, concludes Michael Greeson, president and principal analyst at TDG.
Streaming devices enters for your help
With this change in television viewing habits, the way different streaming services program your list of programs has changed too. Just as set-top box creators also set priorities in the applications and functionality they choose for their users.
That's why it's quite natural for online movie and series producers to debut marathon series, or to anticipate some new season with the re-release of previous seasons (‘Game of Thrones’, anyone?). These options have already been tested and, by all accounts, may even become standard.
For a set-top box user, this new style of watching television has not been a problem, because the ability to record episodes of your favourite series is already normal, as are applications such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu.tv, which allow you to choose to watch the series by bingeing.
In other words, set-top boxes are one step ahead of the biggest digital distributors, because the functionalities of these systems already made it possible to create the opportunity for people to binge-watch through their DVR services.
Basically, you could say that streaming media and bingers are a marriage made in heaven…