Netflix spent 6 billion dollars over the course of a few years to stamp its imprint on our television (can we even call it television anymore?) watching habits. They normally give you a new series every week or two on Friday, and surprisingly many of them have been better than the few series we see a year on HBO that are comparable. For years, HBO was my goto for entertainment, but with the rising of AMC, FX, and Netflix this has since changed. Netflix credits the rise of their power to another aspect, binge-watching.
In an article with Business Insider, we learn that BBC has decided to go to a binge-watching format with new seasons, and this is not surprising considering their close bond with Netflix. Here is a quote from Netflix regarding the matter.
The BBC has become the first major linear network to announce plans to go binge-first with new seasons, favoring internet over linear viewers. We presume HBO is not far behind the BBC.
Netflix knows they are a bull now, and that HBO may be in decline due to all the other free access, or cheap access, of great shows. I am a cable-cutter after Direct TV wanted to charge me 200$ a month for CNN, Fox News(yup I check out both sides), AMC, FX, and HBO. Those are the only channels I really wanted outside of their normal package. Now with a $29.99 a month internet service, and my 15$ a month Netflix subscription, I have all that I need for entertainment. But with these services I am able to binge-watch all the shows at once, if that is my desire. (outside of new weekly episodes)
Could HBO take the model and put all of their stuff out at once? They may have to eventually. However, binge-watching has its ups and downs.
- We get the entire season at once to watch at our leisure. No DVRs needed.
- We can make a full day of it on our off-days from work. Grab the popcorn let's enjoy a rainy day with A Series Of Unfortunate Events.
- Save money. As I said, if you simply use Netflix for your entertainment it could save money.
- Social Media explosion the day after a binge. This is a trade off, you get one exciting day to talk to everyone about how you feel, but hey, next Friday there could be a new binge.
- Less emotional highs. This is a big con for me, and I think it tarnished shows like Luke Cage after a big bad's death. If we get to watch once a week there is a greater buildup and excitement level.
- Binging is associated with depression. Not sure I believe this, but I see this everywhere.
- You start noticing things like rehashed plot lines, overused phrases, etc.
- Tune-out. During your 10 hour binge you may forget to feed your dogs, talk to anyone, or eat.
Well, there you have it. Have I missed any highs or lows from binge-watching? Do you think HBO will ever move in this direction? Could the Netflix format eventually come to every network? Let us know!