Netflix has debuted the entire second season of Lilyhammer, the crime dramedy that previously served as the platform’s first ever original series when it debuted back in January 2012. In keeping with its tendencies, Netflix has made all episodes of the new season available from the get-go, encouraging viewers to binge watch them in one sitting.
Simultaneous release has become the norm for Netflix, but do the platform’s users prefer that format? According to a recent Harris Interactive survey of 1,500 American Netflix users, yes, they do. The survey reported that 61% of respondents binge watch shows regularly, 73% have positive feelings toward binge watching, and 79% believe shows are more enjoyable several episodes at a time. The study also revealed that the majority of binge watchers prefer to do it with a friend rather than by themselves.
Netflix has been quick to share this information, as it validates the strategy the company has pioneered over the past couple years. “Our viewing data shows that the majority of streamers would actually prefer to have a whole season of a show available to watch at their own pace,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “Netflix has pioneered audience choice in programming and has helped free consumers from the limitations of linear television. Our own original series are created for multi-episodic viewing, lining up the content with new norms of viewer control for the first time.”
There are still questions about binge watching. How much does it actually increase viewership? How much happier are viewers who don’t have to wait for new episodes? Without traffic statistics from Netflix, these questions are tricky to answer, but the premium platform is holding fast to its favorite release method, so it must be working.