Why Americans Binge Watch TV

By Niall McCarthy (Statista)

Here's why people enjoy spending so much time in front of their screens, binging on their favorite television series.

People will enjoy having more time to stream their favorite TV shows over Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. For some, that will mean binge watching. Generally defined as the act of consuming multiple episodes or seasons of a show on demand, 58 percent of Americans have binged watched at one time or another, according to YouGov. Of that number, 72 percent say they prefer it as their regular means of consuming TV entertainment.

Why do people enjoy spending so much time in front of their screens, binging on TV series?

YouGov found that nearly six out of every 10 American binge watchers likes to see the whole story at once. 48 percent say they simply cannot handle the suspense of waiting an entire week to find out what happens. Interestingly, 31 percent of people are driven to binge watch just so that they can fill their time.

There are several reasons why Americans binge watch TV:


Binge watching allows viewers to watch an entire season or series at their own pace, without having to wait for new episodes to be released each week. This is especially appealing to busy viewers who may not have the time to watch TV on a regular schedule.


Binge watching can provide a temporary escape from the stress of daily life. It can be a way for viewers to immerse themselves in a fictional world and forget about their problems for a while.

Social connection

Binge watching can be a shared experience, as viewers can discuss their favorite shows with friends and family. This can create a sense of community and social connection.

Emotional attachment

Binge watching can create a strong emotional attachment to a show and its characters. Viewers may become invested in the characters' lives and want to see how their storylines play out.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

With so much TV content available, viewers may feel pressure to keep up with the latest shows and not miss out on the latest cultural phenomenon. Binge watching can help viewers catch up and feel like they are part of the conversation.

Production values

High production values on many modern TV shows can make them feel more like cinematic experiences. Binge watching can provide a more immersive experience than watching individual episodes spread out over weeks or months.

Availability of streaming services

The rise of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video has made binge watching more accessible and popular than ever before. These services offer entire seasons of TV shows and even full series, making it easy for viewers to watch multiple episodes in one sitting.

Cliffhangers and plot twists

Many TV shows are designed with cliffhangers and plot twists that encourage viewers to keep watching to find out what happens next. This can be particularly effective when binge watching, as viewers can immediately move on to the next episode without having to wait.

Control over viewing experience

Binge watching allows viewers to have greater control over their viewing experience. They can pause, rewind, and fast-forward as needed, and can even watch with subtitles or audio descriptions. This level of control can enhance the viewing experience for some viewers.

Sense of accomplishment

Binge watching an entire season or series can provide a sense of accomplishment for viewers. They may feel a sense of satisfaction in having completed a long and complex story, which can add to the overall enjoyment of the viewing experience.

Availability of quality content

In recent years, there has been an increase in the quality of TV content, with many shows receiving critical acclaim and winning awards. Binge watching can allow viewers to fully immerse themselves in these high-quality shows and appreciate the storytelling and production values.

Overall, the rise of binge watching can be attributed to a combination of factors, including convenience, escapism, social connection, emotional attachment, fear of missing out, high production values, availability of streaming services, cliffhangers and plot twists, control over viewing experience, sense of accomplishment, and availability of quality content. As TV continues to evolve, it's likely that binge watching will remain a popular way for viewers to consume their favorite shows.


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