By Mary Lynne Detoni-Hill, Nova Filmhouse Staff
With the popularity of sites like Netflix and Hulu, not only the format of how we are getting our content has changed but also the way in which we watch this content has changed. Both Netflix and Hulu have complete television series available for immediate consumption which has given birth to the new trend of binge watching. On these sites, when watching a series, the next episode starts immediately after the previous one. The viewer doesn’t even need to click on the screen; the new episode simply starts. Binge watching occurs when the viewer watches multiple episodes of a show in one sitting.
In some respects, binge watching is very good not only for online sites but also for television shows still on the air. When the hit AMC show, Breaking Bad first aired, the ratings weren’t great and even the fourth season finale only had 1.9 million viewers. The season five (and series) finale brought in an astonishing 10.3 million viewers. These ratings jumps so late in a show’s run are extremely rare. Breaking Bad is available on Netflix and slowly grew in popularity as people discovered it. Even between the fourth and fifth seasons, people were able to binge watch the almost 50 episodes on Netflix and then they were ready and excited to watch the final season on AMC. The ability to binge watch and catch up to where the show currently is, brings people back to the original television network.