57% of TV Viewers Report Regular Binge Viewing – Up 12% in Just 10 Months

Bingers favor shows they have never seen, feel good about their
“extreme” behavior – GfK MRI research

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The new face of binge viewing is wearing a smile.

According to just-released GfK MRI research, binge viewing is more than
mainstream; it is prevalent, with almost 6 in 10 (57%) TV viewers saying
they have regularly watched three or more episodes of the same show in
one sitting – whether that be via streaming, DVR, VOD or TV marathons.

Regular binge viewing includes

  • 14% “usually – binge all or most of the time”
  • 18% “frequently – binge more than half the time”
  • 25% “sometimes – binge about half the time”

Asked to think up a new term for their behavior, regular bingers
playfully gravitate to the term extreme viewing – and overall,
73% of regular bingers report having a positive view of their binge
viewing habits. Two out of three (77%) say it is “so fun to binge watch,
I have a hard time stopping,” and roughly half (48%) feel that binge
viewing keeps them “up to date/in the know.”

Four in ten (41%) regular bingers report that TV shows they have never
seen occupy most of their binge viewing time, compared to 35% for “old
favorite” programs. Only 22% say that original shows from streaming
services take up the majority of their binge hours.

Millennials are among the most prolific bingers, with 53% saying that
they are regular bingers – binge viewing more than half the time they
watch TV. Millennials are more likely than average viewers to say that
live TV has become more of a special event for them (16%, index of 152)
and that binge viewing makes them feel more connected to the shows they
watch (32%, index of 143).

Not surprisingly, streaming services are the main conduits for binge
viewing; two-thirds (66%) of regular bingers say streaming is the binge
viewing option they use most (up from 58% 10 months ago). And
Millennials who binge regularly, 81% binge through streaming services.

About one in four (22%) regular bingers say DVRs are their main source
of regular binge viewing, and one in five (19%) rely on traditional TV

“Binge viewing used to have negative connotations in viewers’ minds,”
said Karen Ramspacher, SVP, Consumer Insights of GfK MRI’s special
research on TV viewing. “But as it expands further into the mainstream,
people are excited to embrace the behavior. From DVD box sets to DVRs to
cable TV marathons, binge viewing has been enabled by a host of video
platforms and packages; but streaming services have taken this habit to
new levels. Programming for bingers, and figuring out how to advertise
to them more effectively, are key challenges for programmers and
networks alike.”

The number one reason people binge is that they have free time; but
other top motivations include catching up on shows currently airing and
inability to stop watching because the viewer is hooked. Millennials
over-index on most of the reasons; they are 41% more likely, for
example, to binge because they are addicted to a show.

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information
that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000
market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing
data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global
insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100
countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns
big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their
competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit gfk.com/us
or follow GfK on Twitter.


David Stanton, 908 875 9844
VP, MarComms