Friday, April 3, 2015

Binge Viewing Seems Like A Drug Overdose

The rise of streaming content and the access to entire seasons of TV shows has encouraged binge viewing by consumers.  Where new episodes of our favorite TV shows would appear once a week with a splattering of repeats to interrupt the flow, we got used to watching a season of a show, approximately 23 episodes from September to May.  But now a TV show can have a season of 12 shows to be watched from start to finish.  And we binge to get our fill as quickly as we can. 

And viewers are binging thanks to Netflix and others with seasons of House Of Cards, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and syndicated programming like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.   We can't watch just one and Netflix encourages us by auto-playing the next show in order before the credits even finish on the last show.  Like an addict, we are hooked.

And no sooner are we finished, we are desperate for me.  But when we are done watching the latest season of House Of Cards or other shows, we are forced to dry out till a new batch of shows are produced, edited, and available to air.  And so we switch our habit to another series to satisfy our incredible thirst for more content.  And we are never quenched. 

Our need for immediacy, instant messaging over emails, on demand over linear, and a constant flow of ready to watch video content, might possibly be creating a monster in all of us.  We can no longer live without our smartphones, checking them throughout the day.  We lack patience.  And waiting through commercials to watch cable TV sometimes drives us mad.  We are binging on content with a demand that can't ever seem to be fulfilled.  And I doubt that we will ever slow down to smell the roses.  Binge viewing is simply one more drug for our need for getting it now. 

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