Viewers used to wait a certain period to watch the next episode of their favorite television program. But new media services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime let viewers watch several episodes of their favorite program in a single sitting, a practice known as binge watching.
Three researchers — Yoon Hi Sung, assistant professor of communication at the University of Texas at El Paso; Eun Yeon Kang, associate professor of business administration at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania; and Wei-Na Lee, professor of advertising and public relations at the University of Texas at Austin — conducted an online survey with 292 students enrolled in a southwestern university in the United States to understand the motivations for binge watching.
The researchers found that:
- About 24 percent of the students watched only one episode of their favorite program
- About 59 percent usually watched two to three episodes
- About 14 percent watched four to five episodes
- More than 3 percent watched more than six episodes in one sitting
The most popular media channels for binge watching included Internet streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu (around 92 percent), followed by TV program websites and download services. All of the top ten binge-watched programs were season-based dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy, Orange is the New Black, One Tree Hill, Desperate Housewives and Breaking Bad.
The authors also found that students with a low level of binge watching were motivated only by entertainment, while those with a high level watched as a way to pass time as well as for entertainment both passing time and entertainment.
To read the full text of the study: https://bit.ly/2NpLGBP
Sung, Y. H., Kang, E. Y., & Lee, W. N. (2018). Why Do We Indulge? Exploring Motivations for Binge Watching. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 62(3), 408-426.