Don't Feel Bad, Everyone Binge-Watches Netflix, Says Netflix

Don't Feel Bad, Everyone Binge-Watches Netflix, Says Netflix

Binge-watchers: You are not alone.

The majority of people who stream TV regularly binge-watch, and they're not the least bit sorry about it, according to a new study commissioned by Netflix, the streaming video giant.

Sixty-one percent of people who stream at least one TV show per week reported that they binge on shows, and 73 percent reported "positive feelings" about the behavior, according to a Netflix statement.

To 73 percent of streamers, binge-watching consists of "watching between 2-6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting."

The online survey, by market researcher Harris Interactive, illustrates how American viewing habits have changed as on-demand streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus, not to mention DVRs, have become increasingly popular.

It also confirms for Netflix that, in the age of high-speed internet, ubiquitous Internet-connected screens and instant gratification, this is actually how people want to watch TV. Netflix has released six original series, the episodes of which were all released at the same time. The study suggests that was a good idea: A full three-quarters of streamers said "streaming TV shows on their own schedule is their preferred way to watch them," according to the study, which surveyed 1,496 people in the U.S. who stream one or more TV show per week.

(Netflix is actually breaking from the "all at once" strategy when it releases the first five episodes for "Turbo: FAST," a series for children, on Christmas Eve. "Production on animation is on a different timetable, so we chose to make the episodes that are ready now available for viewers as they were ready," Karen Barragan, a Netflix spokeswoman, told CNN's Brian Stelter.)

Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, has previously spoken about how binge-viewing has the potential to change how stories are told.

"I really think we have the chance to radically change the depth of character connectivity," Sarandos told GQ earlier this year. "I mean, a meaningful shift. It's going to further blur the line between television and movies."

"TV has got better in terms of the quality of the shows, and we can now have access to them anywhere at anytime," Grant McCracken, a cultural anthropologist Netflix hired to "trace the evolution of binge watching," said in an interview with The Huffington Post. "In the old days you used to sit down and assume the posture and attitude of the couch potato, and you'd take what you got -- you'd go with the best of bad options. These days I think you zero in on good shows, and they're easy to find and easy to access."

"You can feel the tectonics of the industry changing." he added.

In its latest earnings report, Netflix said it had 29.93 million paid subscribers in the U.S. A Citi Research report released this week estimated that number could reach nearly 65 million by 2020.

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