How Netflix Is Setting the New Norm in TV Watching: The Viewer Is In Control

Television
by Chris Dorr
February 19, 2014 1:21 PM
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Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in the second season of 'House of Cards'

Netflix released the second season of "House of Cards" on Friday February 14, 2014.  All thirteen episodes were immediately available. My wife and I viewed 5 of them in one afternoon. We plan to complete the season within the next week (or not).

Like other Netflix subscribers we choose how and when we watch the new season.

This is called “binge” viewing. It seems an odd word to describe this phenomenon. As in “binge” drinking for example. We immediately picture someone who gives into his worst impulses and has no control.

Curiously it is just the opposite. Why? Simply put, the viewer controls the experience. This option breaks the standard release pattern for new “TV” episodes.

The standard pattern forces you to wait for the right moment on the right day for the episode to magically appear. The control resides with the linear network -- not with you.

We are also watching "True Detective" on HBO, a show that runs for 8 episodes, released one at a time. You can’t see them all at once, even if you wanted. You are not in control.

Read the rest of this article at Digital Dorr.

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