The OTT Binge-Watching Phenomenon | Source: Whip Media
Whip Media writes: If you’ve ever had a Star Wars night on VCR, a Friends fest on DVD, or gotten lost in a Lost box set on Blu-ray, you’ll know that TV and movie binge-watching isn’t a new phenomenon. What’s different now is the wide availability of titles to potentially binge on, the mode of consumption ⸺ via online streaming ⸺ and the scale both in terms of the number of people who enjoy watching multiple episodes of a title and how often they do it.
Whip Media, together with VOD Professional, wanted to learn more about viewers’ current bingeing habits. To do that we canvassed the opinions of consumers through Whip Media’s TV Time app, which is used by 19 million global users to keep track of the shows and movies they’re watching, engage in spoiler-free reactions, and discover new content.
How, we asked, did they define a binge-watching session? What genres did they particularly binge on? Who did they binge-watch with? And were they aware of bingeing more over the past 18 months when global lockdowns may have led to more time at home?
Overall, we gathered 32,741 responses to our survey across seven countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. 92% of the respondents were aged 18-54.
At a Glance
This white paper is a team effort between streaming SaaS developer/programming business marketing data provider Whip Media and VOD Professional, a video-on-demand market consultancy. Whip Media is the operator of the TV Time TV and movie guide and tracker which was the information source for the white paper data.
The report summarizes the key takeaways:
- Binge-watching isn’t reserved only for weekends, special occasions, or tentpole launches from the major streamers. Exactly 50% of our survey respondents like to binge most or all of their entertainment shows.
- Eight out of 10 viewers prefer all episodes of a new (or returning) show to be made available for binge-watching rather than dropping on a weekly basis. This finding has strategic implications for service providers and particularly broadcasters that come from a linear-release heritage.
- And 81% of our sample said that the availability of bingeable content was an important factor when thinking about subscribing to OTT services. Thirty-one percent of people have churned from a service because of a lack of bingeable content.
Examing further it offers definitions of binge-watching such as how many episodes oer week constitute binge-watching and noting differences in the amount between countries and by age groups.
Bingeing is popular in the U.S. and northern Europe while less popular in southern (Mediterranean) European countries polled.
It digs into the how and why bingers were bingeing and who they binge-watched with. Sadly, the majority do it alone.
Not surprisingly the global COVID pandemic rears its head with almost half of the respondents saying it contributed to their binge craving though it did vary considerably by country.
So what is the most binge-inducing genre, the surveyors asked? Not surprisingly serial dramas were far and away the most bingeable programming. However, several other seemingly binge-friendly genres did not prove popular.
In the end, the white paper becomes grist for the program provider’s mill ⸺ the insights it can provide for program delivery strategies.
One last thing ⸺ those long Nordic nights seem to have made the Swedes binge-watching champions.