Half of Americans “Binge View” TV Shows

April 15, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Broadcast & Cable | Mobile Phone | Television | Youth & Gen X

Harris-Binge-Viewing-TV-Shows-Apr201378% of Americans have watched TV “on [their] own schedule,” and 62% of those have watched multiple episodes of a TV show at a time (“binge viewing”), according to survey results from Harris Interactive. Binge viewers are engaging in this activity more often than last year, particularly younger viewers. Interestingly, though, Americans are more likely to expect their binge viewing to decrease (24%) rather than increase (9%) over the next year. The researchers note that binge viewing has big implications for the TV industry, particularly as advertisers struggle to reach viewers who are watching on alternative platforms such as Netflix.

Binge viewing most often happens on a TV: among binge viewers, 73% said they most often find themselves binge viewing on a TV set, compared to 22% on a laptop (16%) or desktop (6%), 3% on a tablet, and 2% on a smartphone.

Overall, the survey reveals that 41% of Americans have watched TV on demand, through a cable TV provider (34%) and/or a satellite provider (9%). Notably, slightly more use Hulu, Hulu Plus, or Netflix Streaming (40%) than Tivo, DVR or another recording device (37%) to watch TV on their own schedule.

Other Findings:

  • Use of the above-mentioned streaming services is far higher among the 18-29 (71%) and 30-39 (60%) age groups than among the 40-54 (33%) and 55+ (19%) age groups.
  • 18-29-year-olds are twice as likely as the average adult to use iTunes to watch TV shows on their own schedule (17% vs. 8%).
  • Binge viewers are most likely to be influenced by the type of show (56%) and a desire to catch up to the “live” broadcast (44%), while 13% are motivated by the social aspect, such as marathon viewings with friends.

About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between February 13 and 19, 2013 among 2,496 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.


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