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“Binging” is the New Viewing for Over-The-Top Streamers

2 minute read | September 2013

New streaming devices and services make it easy for consumers to watch as much as they want whenever they want. And according to Nielsen’s 2013 Over-the-Top Video Analysis, viewers are streaming video at a breakneck pace—demonstrating incredible binge appetites for programming available anytime and virtually anywhere on services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime.

By tapping into these services, viewers can watch nearly endless content on their own time, whether it be to catch up on a heavily-lauded program before an awards show, such as the Emmy Awards, or to simply chase the cultural zeitgeist in order to stay current for conversations around the water cooler. In fact, 45 percent of Netflix streaming subscribers say the types of shows they watch when they stream are original programming, such as House of Cards or Lilyhammer.

As of the most recent Cross-Platform Report, consumers’ weekly time spent watching video on the Internet or a mobile phone has increased to an hour on a quarter-over-quarter basis. Over the Top (OTT) video viewing has also become a popular option among viewers, and all services—Netflix, Hulu, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Instant Video—have seen year-over-year increases in users.

And it’s no wonder that time spent is on the rise. When they turn to OTT for viewing, many consumers are “binge” viewing—88 percent of Netflix users and 70 percent of Hulu Plus users report streaming three or more episodes of the same TV show in one day. This is reinforced by consumers’ desire to curate their own content line-up. About 58 percent of these users prefer to view shows when they do not have to abide by schedules other than their own and can watch several episodes consecutively.



Survey-based data from the Nielsen Online Panel conducted as part of the Nielsen Over-the-Top Video Analysis. The survey was conducted in July 2013 with a sample of over 2000 consumers, including 1,000 Netflix users and 600 Hulu users.

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