Netflix bingeing is getting out of control

By | 1 minute read | October 25, 2017

Ever watched an entire new season of a show within 24 hours of its release? According to Netflix, that makes you a “binge racer.” And you’re not alone.

New research from the entertainment company shows 8.4 million Netflix members have binge raced, and the number of racers has increased exponentially in the last few years. Between 2013 and 2016, the company reports, the number of racers grew twentyfold.

For many viewers, said Netflix Vice President of Original Series Brian Wright, rapid TV binging is a point of pride.

“There’s a unique satisfaction that comes from being the first to finish a story — whether it’s the final page of a book or the last, climactic moments of your favorite TV show,” Wright said.

Canada is the world’s top binge racing country, followed by the United States and Denmark. The most binged show? Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

Some racers stand out from the rest. Five American Netflix viewers, the company reports, have watched all five seasons of House of Cards the day they were released. One French viewer has already raced through 30 shows this year.

Today’s couch potatoes, the data shows, are anything but unambitious. They’re taking TV consumption to Herculean new heights.

The age of the super streamer is upon us. Are networks prepared for the tidal wave of connections they bring?

Global internet traffic is growing by 22 percent each year, and is predicted to double by 2020. Binge racing, said IBM’s Director and Global Industry CMO for Telecom, Media and Entertainment Richard Michos, places “additional burdens on networks that are already stretching to their capacity limits.”

With demands on the network swelling so quickly, many CTOs and CNOs are creating living networks through a combination of cloud and AI technology.

“We’ve already seen demand spikes — the so-called internet rush hour. Now, with binge racing, peak capacity may appear, not as a spike, but as a norm. Thus networks will feel more pressure to virtualize to manage demand,” Michos said.

A living network can keep up with the expanding number of connections and handle the increasing demand for storage capacity and computing power. It can also optimize the running of the network itself.

With a living network, streaming sites don’t have to fear binge racers — instead, they can cheer them on as they sprint past.