Research Nugget 3

Binge Viewing Now Pervasive in UK, US. (2014, June 16). Retrieved July 11, 2014, from Link

 

The article states much of what was already revealed by other authors, but expanded that focus into other nations. Binge-watching, or binge-viewing as it is increasingly called, is up since last year by record amounts. This includes a nearly universal 99% of Chinese viewers admitting to binge-viewing. The article expands on the tendencies of binge-watchers and the activities consumers engage in while binge-watching.

“Other findings of the research were that more than 80% of the Chinese and 60% of the US and UK respondents multitask while watching entertainment – saying that they were likely to use multiple devices to do something related to the content they are watching.”

Binge-watchers tend to multi-task when viewing content, begging the question: In what activities do they engage? This author suggests that users are linking activities with shows, perhaps through twitter or facebook. However, other articles I have previously read indicate that bingers engage in a multitude of activities not linked to the shows they are watching.

“This year, we found that consumers want their entertainment ‘selfie-style’ – content centred on them, immediately gratifying, engaging and shareable across their social networks. Brands that can successfully deliver or enhance compelling entertainment to consumers stand to gain through positive word-of-mouth and association,” said Gail Becker, president, strategic partnerships and global integrations, Edelman.

Again, the author has confirmed what others have stated previously: viewers value instant gratification and engagement. This is not bad in itself, however combined with television’s need to satiate its consumers, we may head down a slippery slope. Other articles I have placed in this blog have warned against our culture of instant gratification, and with TV’s desire for more viewers, I fear this indulgence will only continue.

Campbell, T. (2014, June 30). A season in a day: new TiVo research analyses binge-viewing. . Retrieved July 11, 2014, from Link

The article reveals the findings of a study done by TiVo, analyzing the habits and practices of binge-viewers. Many viewers binge-watch as a way to catch up with shows that they can then watch as they air. Other’s wait until a full season has finished, only to digest the whole of it in one or two sittings. The article also confirmed what the previous selection and many other’s have as well, that binge-viewing is becoming far less taboo.

“Respondents cite the desire to “catch up” on TV and “only having learned about the show after many episodes had already aired” as their top drivers for binging. Twenty-nine percent of respondents deliberately put off watching an entire season of a show until they could watch the whole season at once, a trend TiVo Research expects will only grow.”

It would appear, as many other authors would agree, that binge-watching is utilized as a tool of social economy. People use services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Itunes to catch up with other viewers, so that they might discuss the show. Others would use these services to ingest entire series, entire shows, that they might enjoy what their friends already have. There are many reasons behind binge-viewing.

“Beyond binge-viewing three or more episodes of a series in a day, TiVo Research’s survey also investigated another binging habit: Watching an entire season (or more) of a specific program over multiple days. Three-quarters of survey respondents reported participating in this type of “super-binge” activity, with 14 percent having done so in the prior week and 23 percent having done so between a week and a month prior to taking the survey.”

Few people watch an entire series in one day, according to Mr. Campbell. But is this surprising? Think of how long an episode of television is, likely between 20 minutes and an hour. Then think of how many episodes are in a season or series, between 13 and 24. Devoting that amount of time to a single endeavor is grueling, and this so-called “super binge” would certainly be draining to any viewer. I submit that this would be one reason why few viewers engage in super binge marathons.

Mahanti, A. (2014, March 5). The Evolving Streaming Media Landscape. IEEE Spectrum,18, 4-6, from Link
The author provides a general overview of streaming-media, not only as it is, but as it will be. Media-streaming has already changed the way people consume and process content. The shear amount of articles on the advent of binge-watching and its effects is evidence of that. However, providers must change to facilitate viewer’s desires. The article discusses improvements to not only existing internet infrastructure, but on the services themselves. He calls for greater personalization and infrastructure designed for modern internet traffic.
“Major television networks have realized the importance of offering online video services through a model known as “catch-up” television. The BBC was one of the pioneers of catch-up services in which programs that have been broadcast are uploaded to a portal, and consumers can stream them at their convenience using a special-purpose application, such as the BBC’s iPlayer running on a device of the consumer’s choosing. Unlike traditional VoD services, catch-up services make content available for a limited period following the program broadcast; these availability windows are sometimes based on content licensing agreements. Catch-up television services are becoming increasingly popular, and in some countries, such as Australia, their consumption figures are rivaling those of traditional television viewership.”
bbc-iplayer-logo

As in previous sources, the idea of catching-up is prevalent here. With a name to put to this phenomenon, we can see that all of these authors agree that “catch-up television” is one of the primary uses of media-streaming services. As the author states, some content is only available for short periods of time, enforcing the need to binge in order to view this media. I must ask, are content licensing agreements designed to be short to enforce binge-viewing?

“With respect to adaptive-streaming, the industry has been able to draw on a large body of research on rate-controlled video-streaming. With on-demand streaming’s increasing popularity, we will probably need to innovate even more on content delivery systems.”

Mahanti is speaking on the quality of streaming and quality of video, but his point evokes something larger. On-demand streaming’s high popularity will undoubtedly increase, which will create a greater strain on the existing internet infrastructure. Replacing the existing infrastructure will be slow, and providers will need to compensate for this decrease in streaming speeds. The cost of higher streaming speeds will fall to the consumer, you and I, increasing the cost of viewer’s addictions.

My synthesis is sprinkled throughout my nuggets. If that’s not alright, I will create a separate synthesis upon instruction.

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