Binge Watching is so in this Season

Netflix started the new trend of binge watching shows that we used to grow up with and they have even created their own original content. But now as they are getting more rights to content they are able to show whole new seasons of shows a few months after they hit the air. Netflix is not the only one streaming shows and movies, every channel now has their shows posted on their site a day after it airs and you can even go back and watch the whole season if you just wait a few weeks. At this point I don’t even tune in to watch the shows on TV anymore because I either wait to watch it online on my free time, or wait for the whole season to be available. With these cable shows going digital and posting content online and social media sites leaking spoilers, it may kill the cable industry completely.


My brother is a cheap-o and didn’t want to pay for cable in his apartment so instead of dealing with a cable company he just bought an Apple TV and subscribes to most TV streaming sites like Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, Showtime, and ESPN. There is nothing he is missing because he can get his news off the CNN and FOX apps, as well as watch important soccer games on the BN Sports subscription package. Apple has also jumped on board and is going to offer ABC, CBS, FOX, FX, ESPN, and more services with their package. Consumers can watch their favorites shows by selecting he channels they want and just enjoy the full season with minimal commercials and at the convenience of their own time.


There is the question about cable shows that you will want to watch as the same time as everyone else like the Super Bowl, World cup, Oscars or Grammy’s but most of these can already be live streamed onto any form of technology. And in this digital age people have iPhones, tablets, laptops, and streaming TVs so there is minimal that consumers would be missing out on. More and more of these types of technology or prevalent in the younger generation (millennials) who will continue to rely on them for their streaming needs. In a study done by Deloitte it says that 56% of TV and movies are watched by millennials (14-24 years old). This trend seems to be growing and as more channels stream their own shows and create their own content those watching TV on their devices will increase in number. As of now those over the age of 30 rely 80% of their TV viewing on their television, but maybe this will decrease as the younger generation introduces them to stream-able content.

I use Netflix on my phone to watch old episodes of Friends, while using my laptop at home to watch movies from Amazon Prime, and some Modern Family from the ABC website. I get every kind of genre, type, and amount of TV from just going online, as well as access to it at any point in the day. Even if I am in the library studying I can just watch a quick episode of Friends as a study break and then go back to my work..maybe.At this point the TV we have in our dorm room is used more as larger screen to plug an HDMI cable into rather than sing the cable service BC provides us.


Even commercials have realized that cable is slowly dying because as we saw in the super bowl a lot of the main commercial based companies took a step back and didn’t have TV advertising, rather they had a large social media presence during the game. Other companies who did have TV ads still continued their message online. Consumers used to be controlled by the cable providers by what channels they could have and when they could watch certain programs. Now the consumer has more of the power because there are so many more options and the TV providers are scrambling to retain their audience. However, even though cable may be slowly a dying outlet, these chains are jumping on the bandwagon and creating an online presence in order to keep their audience happy. For example, if you have DIRECTV you can watch all the channels that you receive on their online platform, so it’s still worth paying for the services.

As I am writing this post an ad for online streaming through a TV provider popped up for DIRECTV.


I can pay each month to stream the channels online that I would normally get on cable…THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT! As long as the TV providers keep up to date with the content the viewers want they won’t fall downhill along with cable, but rather be the reason why more people stop ordering a cable box.



  1. laurenmsantilli · ·

    Really good blog post! I just saw in a WSJ article that Youtube is reaching 1 billion hours of viewing each day. Between Youtube, Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming sites, I think it’s a real possibility that we will see cable TV phased out over the next few generations. Our favorite shows are posted hours after they air live, so I find myself watching most of the shows I care about over the following few days on my own time. It’s much easier for TV to be at the convenience of the consumer – which is what I assume attracts users to online streaming services over cable TV.

  2. lenskubal · ·

    I really enjoyed this blog post! I’ll admit, I do the same thing as you and your brother all the time. The show, 24, airs a new episode every Monday night and after I watched the first one, I decided I would wait until the whole season airs so I could binge watch it all day. The Apple TV and other streaming devices have definitely affected the amount of people who watch regular TV. I think a lot of consumers like to tailor their experience to how they prefer to view content, so I am interested to see what the future has in store for the traditional TV consumer.

  3. Extremely hard hitting post about how TV viewing has changed in such a short amount of time. I do think though that the first big test was probably the notion of recording TV to your VCR in the 1970’s. I remember reading articles that this was a huge copyright issue because the content producers didn’t want people having the flexibility to watch their shows on their own time without controls….looks like that issue still remains 50 years later. What this did though was allow people to finally have the ability to be flexible to WHEN they wanted to watch their shows. They were no longer tied down to watching their show at 8PM on Tuesdays when it was on. When I was in high school 10 years ago, I used to borrow/buy seasons of TV shows on DVD to watch in my leisure. I liked not having to watch commercials and not having to wait for each new episode. By the time senior year rolled around, Netflix finally became the next big thing and my binging habit shifted online. One thing I do want to mention: I do think the influence of social media and an endless array of online articles “summarizing” (re: SPOILING) very popular TV shows is one contraindicator for shows moving entirely online. While there are sooo many shows that I will watch when I have an hour free here and there, I will 100% find (re: MAKE) time to watch Game of Thrones because if I somehow am late, by the time the episode airs it will be completely spoiled by all my friends/blogs.

  4. I think cable companies are in big trouble and they know it. The reality for them is that they either need to adapt (possibly offer much cheaper a la carte options for channels) or present a real value proposition for consumers. As consumers get smarter and begin to have more options due to technology, it becomes less and less likely that they’ll be willing to pay $100+ per month for 200 TV channels when they probably watch less than ten of them.

    As an example of this: my parents (who are in their 70’s) have just decided to cut the cord because they just don’t watch enough television to justify paying $100-150 per month. I basically just have to figure out a fairly inexpensive way for my dad to watch live sports (which I already have). If my parents (who are fairly technologically illiterate) are willing to cut out cable, that’s a bad sign for cable companies.

  5. alexisteixeiraa · ·

    Awesome blog post! I always thin that the reason we love binge watching is because we are a generation that loves instant gratification – immediate news notifications, live videos, real time likes/shares etc. So when it comes to shows it frustrates us that we can’t watch hours of a show to see what happens at the end of a season if we were to sit down every week in front of the television. You mentioned at the end of your article how cable providers are now allowing add-ons but i still think enough people will just subscribe to the services that they want and forget about cable. It is why live events such as the Oscars and sporting events are so critical to cable’s success. It will be interesting to see whether these bundles exist in the future or whether we subscribe to a different kind of box like Apple TV…

  6. lesleyzhou · ·

    Remember the days where we thought TiVo was going to be the next biggest hit? Now with the presence of Netflix and live-streaming, cable companies look as if they are about to go extinct and I don’t even think live events like the Superbowl or Oscar’s will be able to save them in the future. While reading your post, it even hit me that some people source their TV shows from pirated sites absolutely free because it is just so easy in this day and age to get your hands on TV show content once it is released. I know some people who are able to watch The Bachelor or America’s Got Talent the day after an episode is aired completely ad-free, without even having to watch it online via the ABC website, since networks like these still inject advertisements in between segments. The way consumers are now able to maneuver around traditional ads makes me wonder how this will shift the marketing industry as well..

  7. Your brother definitely has a good idea getting Apple TV instead of Cable. I can probably only think of a handful of times in the past year that I watched live TV. College students’ schedules are so unpredictable that it is almost impossible to follow a TV show when it is officially aired.

    I think the binge watching culture is kind of funny because it speaks to the overall culture of indulgence/ overconsumption. I wonder if binge watching adds or takes away from TV because many shows are not intended to be watched all at once. For example, a show like Westworld, which aired on HBO once a week, is meant to have time after it airs to digest the material. It creates buzz and allows people to think deeply about the storyline.

    Another thing that I think is unique about Netflix is the fact that they are producing high-quality movies as well, thus somewhat replacing the need for cinemas.

  8. With the rapid adoption of streaming services, cable has definitely felt the pressure in the past few years, especially once services such as Netflix began generating their own GOOD content like House of Cards (Seasons 1-2). Other than sports and a few events per year such as the Oscars or Grammys, I can’t really think of a program that I would desperately need cable for and those events can be streamed using other services anyway. My roommate and I have been discussing this exact issue for when we move into our apartment in June and we’ve decided to do exactly what your brother is doing. There is no reason to pay for so many channels that we will never watch. Like you said, TV providers have to stay current and adapt or else they are going to meet a very quick demise with such a large amount of our generation relying on streaming services.

  9. Nice post. A student did a presentation in class a year or so ago on this phenomenon, talking about how shows were being produced differently as a result of binge watching. Since people can binge watch to catch up on a show, its easier for people to jump in without being lost.

  10. duffyfallon · ·

    Great post! I also have an Apple TV, and I think it’s one of the best products Apple makes. Like you said, you’re able to download the app for any network and any streaming service (and nothing more), then move through them seamlessly via Apples interface. On top of that, if you’re an Apple user, you have all of your movies, TV shows, and music on iCloud also integrated in. Its customized content/consumption at it’s best. I agree with your last comment and think cable boxes will soon be a thing of the past.

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