Streaming video services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video have change the way we watch TV– so much so that telephone companies like Verizon are getting in on the game with their own streaming apps. YouTube, site that began as a means of sharing cute family videos with your loved ones or tutorials with your colleagues, has exploded into a billion dollar company for no reason other than our love for cats and need for instant gratification. Even they have jumped into the business of streaming televisions shows and movies with their subscription service, YouTubeRed.
So why are these companies so lucrative? Because we are addicted to television and instant gratification.
Now, don’t let me fool you– I hesitate to admit that one of my favorite guilty pleasures is off-color, disastrous reality TV shows. I couldn’t tell you why other than I find people and what they’re willing to do and reveal about themselves for money fascinating (and infuriating at times.) I am also one of those people who has a Netflix account but almost never uses it. Why haven’t I cancelled it yet? Because what if, essentially. What if they add one of my favorite movies, or a favorite TV show that I can’t get anywhere else? What if I decide to suddenly get into The Walking Dead or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? What about all those documentaries I’ve been meaning to watch for the past….year and a half?
It makes no sense, I know.
But one thing I am not is a binge watcher. I just don’t have the attention span or dedication to watch an entire season of a show in the span of a day. As much as I love Harry Potter, I can’t even make it through Harry Potter Weekends on Freeform (formerly ABC Family.) Binge watching just isn’t in my nature; but it’s a pretty popular pastime for a lot of people.
So much so, that Netflix has enough data to determine what types of shows people are most likely to binge watch.
(Next time someone judges your Netflix binging addiction, tell them you’re doing important research.)
So what did the data determine? Well, binge watchers are most likely to spend over two hours watching thrillers and horror shows than any other genres. In order, the most binged genres are:
Thrillers: Bates Motel, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy
- Horror: American Horror Story, Hemlock Grove, Penny Dreadful, Scream
- Sci-fi: Ascension, Between, Heroes, Orphan Black
- Action/Adventure: 24, Arrow, La Reina del Sur, Marco Polo
- Dramatic Comedies: Flaked, Grace & Frankie, Nurse Jackie, Orange is the New Black
- Crime Dramas: Better Call Saul, Bloodline, Fargo, The Blacklist
- Superhero Dramas: Gotham, Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, The Flash
- Historical Dramas: Mad Men, Narcos, Peaky Blinders, The Americans
- Political Dramas: Homeland, House of Cards, Occupied, The Good Wife
- Irreverent Comedies: Arrested Development, BoJack Horseman, Club de Cuervos, F is for Family
Did you spot your favorite shows in that list? Are their findings consistent with your watching patterns? And what do these findings really mean?
Well, one factor in why their findings are in this particular order may have something to do with how long episodes of each show are: some of them are an hour per episode (45 minutes or so without commercials) while others are half that time. Other factors may include the fact that some of the most popular shows on television cannot be streamed on Netflix due to contract clauses and network competition- case and point, Game of Thrones.
But the fact of the matter still remains: America, we are addicted to television. We have apps on our phones and tablets, access via our computers, and services from our television providers which allow us to record up to 16 different shows at a time. Missing an episode elicits strong emotional responses and you don’t want to see how some people respond to spoilers.
It’s time we back away from the screens, guys.
How much TV is too much TV? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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