by Graham Pierrepoint
Netflix has arguably changed the way we view TV and movies – and while not everything they host may be to everyone’s tastes, it seems to have inspired a certain type of entertainment habit that has never existed before. So much so that, according to a recent press release from the platform, they’re proud to announce that ‘binge racing’ appears to be a trend among some of the more hardcore viewers paying for a regular subscription. But just what is this phenomenon – and what data does Netflix have to show for it?
Binge racing is, as Netflix advises, the act of a viewer watching all of the episodes of one given series or season as soon as it is released – often within the first 24 hours. The firm estimates that almost 9 million viewers show this type of behaviour, and it is largely down to the fact that so many people are keen to cram in as much of a story as possible in as short a window as they can. Gone are the days of having to wait until next week for all of your favorite shows – Netflix have largely been uploading entire seasons at a time, while there are a few staples such as Star Trek Discovery that stick to a regular release schedule.
Netflix has therefore compiled the most popular race candidates across its entire library, and at the top of the list are Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Fuller House, The Defenders, The Seven Deadly Sins and The Ranch. Popular shows such as Trailer Park Boys and Orange is the New Black rank highly too, with intense retro horror thriller Stranger Things climbing into the top ten. What this means, of course, is that Netflix viewers seem to largely be fans of retro properties – and that they’re keen to get through them quickly, as they would be with a good book.
Is binge racing a phenomenon that could spoil our enjoyment of certain shows and movies? Probably not – while some of us enjoy suspense and it is likely that major networks will continue to space out episode broadcasts, this latest trend is simply the next step in the evolution of human entertainment – though it could mean the old style of broadcasting and TV scheduling could become old hat in the near future – stay tuned.