Binge-watching is killing traditional must-see-TV

There was a time when the family would gather round the television set at a certain time to watch an episode of whatever the hit show du jour was. But now that tradition has been disrupted by streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (although some might still get up at 2am for Game of Thrones).

Ofcom, the media watchdog, conducted research and found nearly half the people it spoke to watch film or television alone every day - with that number rising to nine in 10 who watch alone every week. A third of people come togeter in the same space, but watch different shows on different devices.

So how often are people using streaming services? The vast majority of them will watch more than one episode of a programme in one sitting, and a third of them will do this weekly.

MORE: Users of BBC iPlayer will require a login from 2017

However, all this on-demand content might not be so good for us. A good chunk of adults and teenagers say watching streaming services has caused them to miss out on sleep, or led them to neglecting their chores.

Even Netflix's CEO, Reed Hastings, says sleep is Netflix's main competitor: “You know, think about it, when you watch a show from Netflix and you get addicted to it, you stay up late at night. We’re competing with sleep, on the margin. And so, it’s a very large pool of time.”

BBC iPlayer is still the most popular on-demand service, with 63% of UK adults saying they use it. ITV Player racks up 40%, 38% for YouTube and 31% for Netflix.

Via The Guardian

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Adam was a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?, reviewing consumer gadgets for online and print publication, as well as researching and producing features and advice pieces on new technology in the hi-fi industry. He has since worked for PC Mag as a contributing editor and is now a science and technology reporter for The Independent.