Report: America is a Nation of Binge Watchers

NEW YORK—If you recently powered through the recent season of Netflix’s “House of Cards” you can count yourself among the popular majority of Americans who have taken up binge watching. According to Deloitte Consulting’s “Digital Democracy Survey,” 70 percent of U.S. consumers watch an average of five episodes at a time of television; a reported 31 percent binge on a weekly basis. As a result, Deloitte says America has become a “marathon nation.”

The survey indicates that 46 percent of Americans now subscribe to video streaming services, and more than half of all consumers watch movies and TV shows through streaming at least once a month; three-quarters of Millennials reportedly do so. Additionally, Millennials aged 26-32 with streaming services have on average three subscriptions, while those 14-25 put more value and time into their streaming video subscriptions than live, pay-TV.

It’s not just the Millennials, however, that are binging shows on Netflix, Hulu, or the like. Baby boomers (50-68) also binge, with 35 percent doing so once a week at an average of four episodes per sitting, according to Deloitte. Regardless of age, 61 percent of streaming subscribers ranked their streaming service in their top three of most valued subscriptions; that is triple of what it was in 2012 (17 percent).

As far as what people are binging, given the choice between TV drama, TV comedy, reality series or DIY programs, 53 percent of respondents saying they binge TV dramas.

“The proliferation of online content shows no signs of slowing down and the consumer appetite to consume content is equally voracious,” said Gerald Belson, vice chairman and U.S. media and entertainment sector leader for Deloitte. “The survey data indicates that consumers are more willing than ever to invest in services to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device they choose.”

Additional findings in the survey include that more purchasing decisions are being influence by non-traditional advertising sources; social media sites surpassing TV as Millennials go to news source; and the fact that 90 percent of consumers are multitasking while watching TV.

This is the 10th year that Deloitte has conducted the “Digital Democracy Survey.” The survey polled 2,205 U.S. consumers. To see the full results, click here.