Binge Viewing - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: What percentage does having all episodes available at once and being commercial free increase the en
Less than 10% 4 7.69%
10% to 20% 3 5.77%
21% to 40% 3 5.77%
41% to 80% 22 42.31%
More than 80% 20 38.46%
Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-18-2014, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm wondering how much more I enjoy a show I binge view versus waiting a week (or more) for the next episode and having to skip the commercials. For me a perfect example is 24. I never caught the original series on TV and ended up streaming them. Compared to the reboot I'm now watching it doesn't compare.

 

With the premise the show is of the same entertainment level I far more enjoy viewing it one episode after another. The increased continually makes it much more engulfing. So much so I think over the years I have streamed several shows I wouldn't even watch if I had to view them in the traditional way. At the reverse I wonder how much less I would enjoy House of Cards if it aired say as does The Good Wife.

 

I consider them very similar in quality and equal in enjoyment once I get my head "wrapped around them"... streaming simply allows an enhanced environment. Now I'm not saying streaming in and of itself makes something watchable rather it adds to the experience. In my case I'm guessing a good 50% or more.

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Old 05-18-2014, 04:13 PM
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Do you mean binge viewing?
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:07 PM
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Speaking for me personally, binge viewing only makes a huge improvement on my viewing experience when a show is heavily serialized. Then I'll often wait until a few episodes are stacked up on my DVR and watch them together. I don't really do the crazy Netflix watch-the-whole-series-at-once thing. I never have that much free time.

However, when a show is NOT heavily serialized, and individual episodes can stand on their own like a sitcom, or The Good Wife, then I don't find the experience improved at all by binge watching. In fact, some shows are better in small doses. The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, for example, I find more funny if I wait a week between viewings. Sometimes characters get on your nerves in larger doses. The Good Wife I prefer to wait between episodes because it is so good I want to make it last.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfxproducer View Post

However, when a show is NOT heavily serialized, and individual episodes can stand on their own like a sitcom, or The Good Wife, then I don't find the experience improved at all by binge watching. In fact, some shows are better in small doses.

 

I think this is a thin line. I recently watched House of Cards and after three or four episodes I was ready for a break. Simply too much going on in a short period of time not to get fatigued. With a little bit of the I don't want it to end...

 

I understand sitcoms being able to better stand alone but at the same time I'm not a sitcom guy. On my DVR every hour show has a higher priority than the thirty minute shows. For me it takes some time to get into a show and with 23 minutes tops by the time I get into it they are wrapping it up. Seems hardly worthwhile. Now if I could watch several back to back I would get in the spirit and enjoy them more... then again I'm not really a sitcom/comedy guy at heart.

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Old 05-19-2014, 05:36 PM
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For one hour shows, I can only watch 2 , atmost 3, in one sitting. Does that count as bingeing?

Usually, I watch just one. It took me three weeks to binge watch Justified season 2, for example.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:39 PM
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I love having a series available that turns out great. I will go at it as much time as I can spend and as long as I can stand it. Much better on the tv than the computer.

Jerry. Just remember. Its not a lie . . . if you believe it. GC
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:29 AM
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À chacun son goût.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:07 AM
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After the success of the Veronica Mars movie, I found the entire three seasons available on Amazon prime. I started watching and after a week and a half, I am one-third of the way through season 2. Excellent show that I didn't have time to view when it originally aired. So great that it is available commercial free.

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Old 05-21-2014, 10:50 AM
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vfxproducer makes a great point regarding the amount of serialization increasing the enjoyment of binge-watching. Case in point, I missed Dexter during its initial broadcast and am just watching it now - I've gone through the first 6 seasons in the past 2.5 weeks.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:08 AM
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Personally, I can't watch more than a few episodes of one show in a row. I just get tired of seeing the same characters for that much time all at once.

I'm one of those people that found "Lost" much less enjoyable multiple episodes at a time without the week of discussion and speculation in between. On the other hand, when it became clear later that none of it mattered, I just wanted it to be over.

It seems like no one wants the anticipation any more. We want resolution immediately.

Imagine if we didn't have all summer to wonder who shot JR on Dallas? Does that final scene of of season 3 of Star Trek: TNG have the same impact when you can just pick it right up immediately with season 4? When that light came on through the window of the hatch on Lost, I couldn't wait to find out what the deal was - and we all had the entire off season to gab about it.

Perhaps buzz has a lot to do with how long people are willing to wait. The proverbial "water cooler" talk - or lack of - makes a difference in how anticipation builds.

The thing is, I just think we've gotten so used to instant gratification, we've forgotten what a treat waiting can be when we finally get what we've been waiting for.

I can have cookies off the shelf right now, but taking the time to bake them is so much better.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

It seems like no one wants the anticipation any more. We want resolution immediately.

 

I understand this reasoning and read a nice article about such not long ago. They noted how certain characters become more memorable as the time invested over weeks, months and even years go beyond what a few nights can develop.

 

At the same time I don't think waiting in and of itself adds value. As a really bad example (off the top of my head). Let's say you took a football game and spread it out over 20 episodes which ends up with 3 minutes per week. Sure I would look forward to what's going to happen although at the same I might completely lose interest and not even care. Looking forward to something is great but enjoying it when it happens is even more important (at least in this case).

 

Knowing each week has very little do with the ultimate outcome of the game it becomes much harder to get invested in the 3 minutes. Not to mention numerous other advantages such as the ability to view something when you are in the mood. When Fox ran two episodes of 24 the first night I enjoyed the second episode the most so far. Not because it was better than the others. Rather by the time it started I was in full 24 mode... the first episode erased the rest of the world and took me back into its universe. I was ready to fully appreciate it.

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Old 05-21-2014, 11:40 AM
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I doubt I would have even watched LOST if not for a buddy loaning me the first season on DVD and watching about 3 or more episodes a day, and then I found season #2 and caught up with it around midseason and it was horrible after catching up, waiting for what seemed an eternity for shows and then in the early seasons they would run reruns between new showings.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I understand this reasoning and read a nice article about such not long ago. They noted how certain characters become more memorable as the time invested over weeks, months and even years go beyond what a few nights can develop.

At the same time I don't think waiting in and of itself adds value. As a really bad example (off the top of my head). Let's say you took a football game and spread it out over 20 episodes which ends up with 3 minutes per week. Sure I would look forward to what's going to happen although at the same I might completely lose interest and not even care. Looking forward to something is great but enjoying it when it happens is even more important (at least in this case).

Knowing each week has very little do with the ultimate outcome of the game it becomes much harder to get invested in the 3 minutes. Not to mention numerous other advantages such as the ability to view something when you are in the mood. When Fox ran two episodes of 24 the first night I enjoyed the second episode the most so far. Not because it was better than the others. Rather by the time it started I was in full 24 mode... the first episode erased the rest of the world and took me back into its universe. I was ready to fully appreciate it.

While that's true, sometimes there is value in seeing the programs back to back. I rewatched The Walking Dead season 2 with my son and found that it worked much better that way and was too slow for a week to week watching to really appreciate the development.

Jerry. Just remember. Its not a lie . . . if you believe it. GC
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:14 PM
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While that's true, sometimes there is value in seeing the programs back to back. I rewatched The Walking Dead season 2 with my son and found that it worked much better that way and was too slow for a week to week watching to really appreciate the development.

There's that. Then there are shows like Game of Thrones...wait a minute there are no shows like GoT..smile.gif But anyways, while it can be enjoyable to binge watch Thrones theres also something to be said to watching week by week so one can savor the sheer perfection of each episode.. Plus the anticipation factor. I can't remember a film I was as eager to see in a theater as I am to watch HBO on sunday nights.

"There is no truth. There's just what you believe."
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:15 PM
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I can't remember a film I was as eager to see in a theater as I am to watch HBO on sunday nights.

I can think of plenty of theatrical films that introduced that eagerness for me. Whether they lived up to the anticipation or not is a different story...

Star Wars: Episode 1 - yay, it's coming! Hey guys, I went to see some movie called "The Flowers Lay Dormant in Winter" because they showed the 1st trailer right before it! There's supposed to be an all-digital character in the movie that looks totally life-like! We see Darth Vader as a kid! I can't wait for the midnight show!

*views movie*

'What the hell was that?! Midichlorians?! What the hell are midichlorians?! What, the midichlorians are strong in this one?!"
"F*** you George Lucas, Jake Lloyd and Jar Jar Binks!"

Star Trek: The Motion Picture: Yay! Kirk, Spok and the whole gang in a feature film after all these years! It's going to be awesome!"

*views movie*

"When are they going to stop doing flyovers of the ship and actually get on the damned thing and go somewhere?!"
"F** you Paramount and your money grab!"


Indiana Jones and the Really Long Cumbersome Title: "Yay! Indy is back!"

*views movie*

"Wait, Indiana Jones gets aliens but the X-Files movie doesn't?"

and

"F*** you George Lucas and Shia Labeouf! You both ruined another movie!"
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:02 PM
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I shoulda said its been a long time since I was as eager to see a film as I am for Thrones every week...

"There is no truth. There's just what you believe."
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:50 PM
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As mentioned before, when there is a definite story arc that spans episodes, particularly when there are clues and pieces of information that come into play in a later episode, a show can be more enjoyable when bin watching.

 

Shows that have independent episodes (monster/adventure/assignment of the week), not so much.

 

Since I find I prefer watching shows on Netflix when available (either disc or streaming), particularly non-comedic, non-variety shows, I tend to do a fair amount of what would be considered binge watching, though far from exclusively so.


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Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Blu-ray players (Sony BDP-S3100, old LG BD390), Roku (the original model: N1000), PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (25Mbps/5Mbps).
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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With roughly 9 out of 10 stating they find viewing episodes concurrently much more enjoyable I wonder why the networks don't run a few series this way. Especially during sweeps. Say every night for three weeks at 10:00pm. I think DVR penetration is over 50% so even those unavailable for an evening or two could keep up. Way back when they used to air mini-series such as Rich Man, Poor Man which aired weekly but at the same time with its limited run it felt like it was condensed. 

 

Obviously, they would have to restructure the current philosophy of airing shows. With ratings down and dropping more so everyday would that be so bad? I can't help but think a lot of the buzz around House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and so on is based on the fact Netflix drops all of the episodes at once.

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Old 05-23-2014, 11:08 AM
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With roughly 9 out of 10 stating they find viewing episodes concurrently much more enjoyable I wonder why the networks don't run a few series this way. Especially during sweeps. Say every night for three weeks at 10:00pm. I think DVR penetration is over 50% so even those unavailable for an evening or two could keep up. Way back when they used to air mini-series such as Rich Man, Poor Man which aired weekly but at the same time with its limited run it felt like it was condensed. 

Obviously, they would have to restructure the current philosophy of airing shows. With ratings down and dropping more so everyday would that be so bad? I can't help but think a lot of the buzz around House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and so on is based on the fact Netflix drops all of the episodes at once.
It's a nice theory, but wouldn't work for TV in practice. The problem is the way advertising is bought and sold.

For a weekly series, the ads are sold per episode and can allow for extra tie-ins and promotional materials though other shows, media and merchandizing. Programs can incorporate product placements for particular episodes. Plus, it's less intimidating to spend the equivalent of 100K a week, over 18 weeks as opposed to being hit with 700K for a week all at once.

The problem is, the latter wouldn't happen, anyway. The curve isn't linear between episodes of a weekly show verses episodes in a week long event.

For a mini-series, that time is sold for the series. They're seen as single events and no advertiser wants their competitor's product to be profiled the very next night for the same audience. having all those episodes at once also complicate that additional revenue, particularily with product placements. To get an advertiser on board for that, there needs to be bulk discounts for what is a big unknown. Unlike a weekly show where a few episodes in, the rates can go up massively when it's a hit, there's no time to get that history with a nightly show that is over by the time the full ratings come in.

In the long run, the ratings may be better for such short runs over successive nights, but the ad dollars aren't unless it's a massively anticipated event around a story people have been waiting to see.

The Netflix method works on Netflix because the value is in getting people to subscribe to the service to watch the show, then not cancel. That's a long term gain. On TV, when the short run show is over, you need something else to keep people coming back.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:36 AM
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NetworkTV- thanks for the insight into ad sales for TV.

Sadly, we often forget that the whole purpose of making these shows is to sell advertising. Any entertainment or information value we may glean from them along the way is a secondary consideration to the networks.
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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It's a nice theory, but wouldn't work for TV in practice. The problem is the way advertising is bought and sold.

 

That is already being restructured and under review based on DVR usage and other factors. I understand who the customer is although ultimately it's about the numbers and who makes up those numbers.

 

Tie-ins and whatnot can still go on as always and there is no need to spend x dollars all at once. You simply need to look at your advertising on a (network) global basis rather than one show per se of which I'm sure they are doing anyway. As far as not knowing the ratings going in I believe they often sell spots for x and offer y if the ratings don't live up to expectations and could easily charge z if they exceeded. Content wise the same number of shows and hours would be available they are simply aired in a different arrangement.

 

Saying it can't happen because that's the way it is now is the exact reason it should change. As Jeff Probst recently stated level ratings are the new up.. and getting worse every day.

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Old 05-23-2014, 12:38 PM
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FOX did a variation of binge viewing with 24. The first three seasons of 24 started in Sept and ran through May with occasional breaks in the season of 2-3 weeks. Then starting with Season 4 FOX started 24 in January and ran it every week for 24 weeks with no breaks in the season. Not as enjoyable as current binge viewing but fairly intense for the the time. I got into 24 like a lot of people by buying the Season 1 dvds and binge viewing the Season. Then I started watching "live" with Season 2.
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:39 PM
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That is already being restructured and under review based on DVR usage and other factors. I understand who the customer is although ultimately it's about the numbers and who makes up those numbers.
...and that doesn't help much when the DVR number some in after the bulk of the episodes have been shown.

The networks are starting to live by those "Plus 3" numbers and will likely stretch out to "Plus 7" at some point. Having the episodes spread out over a longer period allows them time to adjust rates for success.
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Tie-ins and whatnot can still go on as always and there is no need to spend x dollars all at once. You simply need to look at your advertising on a (network) global basis rather than one show per se of which I'm sure they are doing anyway.
If you're airing an entire season all at once, you need advertisers to commit to multiple episodes sooner. You can't sell a season week by week. Advertisers have more places to spend money that ever and get nervous without some data that indicates success.
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As far as not knowing the ratings going in I believe they often sell spots for x and offer y if the ratings don't live up to expectations and could easily charge z if they exceeded.
That's actually rare. Big events like a big bowl game or championship finals or a guaranteed eyeball grabber like the olympics will sometimes have those provisions (based on how much the ads cost), but a TV show isn't likely to. The rate cards on most other programs only come with the guarantee the spot airs correctly, not that people are watching.
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Content wise the same number of shows and hours would be available they are simply aired in a different arrangement.
It's that different arrangement that simply fails to work well for advertising.

Lump sum viewing at this point works best with a single fee for the viewer, not for advertiser driven content.
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Saying it can't happen because that's they way it is now is the exact reason it should change. As Jeff Probst recently stated level ratings are the new up.. and getting worse every day.
By that logic, we should stop driving cars and all take the bus since driving cars is the way it's done now.

The release schedule that Netflix uses works for them assuming people stay with the service. I'll betcha that would change fast if they found people only signed up for a month, watched the newest season of their shows, then cancelled until the following year. However, I suspect that enough people stick with the service long enough to amortize those expenses and create revenue that they might not have otherwise had. It becomes a win for them.

Don't forget, Netflix only needs you to pay the subscription fee. They don't need you to actually watch their shows. As long as they see enough of an increase in subs by having original content to pay for it, they have an incentive to do so. However, if the shows had to rely on justifying themselves with the numbers of viewers they actually have, they might not be as bold.

If networks could collect enough subscription fees to not worry about ratings or ad revenue, they might experiment that way, too. Unfortunately, in a ratings-based system, they need those weekly results to keep money flowing in.

One final point: with Netflix series, you aren't obligated to binge on them if you don't have the time. It doesn't matter. Further, you can binge on a Wednesday night instead of a night when you have plans to go out.

With TV, those who are rated need to keep up. They can't let the episodes stack up or they don't count. That's a big commitment.
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:44 PM
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FOX did a variation of binge viewing with 24. The first three seasons of 24 started in Sept and ran through May with occasional breaks in the season of 2-3 weeks. Then starting with Season 4 FOX started 24 in January and ran it every week for 24 weeks with no breaks in the season. Not as enjoyable as current binge viewing but fairly intense for the the time.
That's still a weekly episode paradigm. I can't think of too many people that would call that binge viewing.

The proposal would be something more like airing several episodes a week, or even a night over a couple of weeks or so kind of like you'd get with those mini-series events of the 70's and 80's.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, in a ratings-based system, they need those weekly results to keep money flowing in.

 

No one suggested ratings and ad rates being influenced by them would go away. Actually, just the opposite.

 

Bottom line. You have over 90% stating they would be more involved with such a schedule which by nature has to lead to increased viewing. As a business owner for 25 years I'm more than assured both parties would be able to find solutions to benefit from the increased viewership. Resulting in more money for each party.

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Old 05-23-2014, 01:30 PM
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No one suggested ratings and ad rates being influenced by them would go away. Actually, just the opposite.
Except, how do you know what they are in a binge environment? By the time they come out for all viewers, half the episodes would be done. Netflix only needs to have enough people paying at the moment to pay for it. They don't need anyone to actually watch the show.

In a system where rates are based on those ratings, you need time to calculate who is watching. Overnights are not the most accurate measurement.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:33 PM
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I am in the minority in that seeing episodes of shows back to back without having to wait a week between episodes is not much of an advantage for me I never watch commercials. In order to avoid doing so, I record every show I watch on myTiVo and use the 30 second skip ahead button to minimize the intrusiveness of commercials. Ordinarily I watch recordings of 1st run episodes during the week in which they air. About the only exception I make to this practice is to record marathon reruns of shows I missed earlier but want to see now or in order to see again shows I loved. I did that when AMC ran a marathon of all earlier episodes of Breaking Bad shortly before the series finale aired. Even then, I rarely watched more than a couple of episodes at one time.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

Bottom line. You have over 90% stating they would be more involved with such a schedule which by nature has to lead to increased viewing. As a business owner for 25 years I'm more than assured both parties would be able to find solutions to benefit from the increased viewership. Resulting in more money for each party.
As a business owner, you should also know that not every model works for every business.

The Olive Garden wouldn't likely be workable as a fast food walk up counter. Satisfaction with online clothing purchases tends to be lower than that of brick and mortar stores because people can't touch and try on the clothing before purchase.

Even if the networks could get ratings fast enough to burn 12 episodes over a week or two, they simply aren't normally going to invest in an entire season of a show before a single episode airs because if the rating suck, they can't just bail on it when no one wants to buy ad time. The best they'll do is commit to the season, then burn if off on Saturday if it pulls down the night.

Netflix gets your money whether you watch the show or not and they don't release viewing numbers. For that matter, they don't have ads so it doesn't matter.

Maybe someday ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox will be monthly services on their own rather than ad-based channels. At that point, they could easily do something like this. However, the infrastructure isn't anywhere close to there yet and we have the system we have.

The fact is, weekly viewing live on the night is still the bread and butter of networks. We view TV differently because we're on the internet watching TV through various means. There are literally millions out there that don't have Netflix and have never binged on any show.

I don't know what business you're in, but if you ran, say, an appointment based video production house, you likely wouldn't want to go to a walk-in convenience store style of business. You might get more foot traffic, but the chances of the same revenue from all those extra people would be low.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks like (slowly of course) the customer is beginning to accept (do they really have a choice long term) different ad models...

 

To get ad buyers to agree to pay for time-shifted viewing beyond three days, TV networks may have had to offer attractive guarantees in the cost of reaching a 1,000 viewers, a measure known as a CPM that is a bedrock element of talks for TV ad time. Favorable terms for expanded audience might draw sponsors to the new concept, while TV networks gain acceptance for the new measure and the chance to perhaps negotiate increases the more they can prove growth in time-shifted viewership.

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/838060/hot-off-the-press-the-latest-tv-news-and-information/94770#post_24787276

 

Now if they can expand on the guarantee or future adjusted cost binge offerings could largely be treated as typical programming. Of course there would still be differences although as the market matured in these offerings unknowns such as actual viewing numbers would become close to estimated or the guarantee. Much like the movie prediction weekend takes in most cases they are pretty close. Of course there are always some surprises and that's where the guarantees come in.

 

97% of viewers prefer binge content... I'm sure advertisers would love to take advantage of the increased interest and viewers. :)

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Old 06-03-2014, 12:31 PM
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My wife and I just finished the 2 seasons of Hannibal and we watched about 3 a day until we had finished. I've always found the idea of binging comforting. The thought that a show could end at any moment frees me to fully appreciate the beauty and art and horror of everything the show has to offer.

Jerry. Just remember. Its not a lie . . . if you believe it. GC
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