The rise of Netflix and Hulu is largely responsible for the spread of the term “binge-watch.” For most, that means dedicating an entire day or at least an evening to sitting down and watching multiple episodes of a TV show at once. According to YouGov, 58 percent of Americans have engaged in binge-watching, and of that number 72% say it’s how they normally consume TV shows.
So why has spending hours on end in front of a TV become a phenomenon? First of all, before online streaming services came around, it wasn’t possible to watch multiple episodes at once until after a TV season was available to buy or rent in stores. Fans had to wait until the next cable airing of a show’s season, and then sometimes an entire year before the next season debuted. As we can see in this chart from Statista, getting the whole story at once and not having the lag time between episodes are the main motivations for binge-watching. Interestingly, it also looks like Americans are just plain bored and using TV as a way to kill time.