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How Netflix Is Setting the New Norm in TV Watching: The Viewer Is In Control

How Netflix Is Setting the New Norm in TV Watching: The Viewer Is In Control

Netflix released the second season of “House of Cards” on Friday February 14, 2014.  All thirteen
episodes were immediately available. My wife and I viewed 5 of them in one afternoon. We plan to complete the season within the
next week (or not).

Like other Netflix subscribers we choose how and when we
watch the new season.

This is called “binge” viewing. It seems an odd word to describe this
phenomenon. As in “binge” drinking for
example. We immediately picture someone who gives into his worst impulses and
has no control.

Curiously it is just the opposite. Why? Simply put, the viewer controls the experience. This option breaks the standard release pattern for new “TV
episodes.

The standard pattern forces you to wait for the right moment
on the right day for the episode to magically appear. The control resides with the linear
network — not with you.

We are also watching “True Detective” on HBO, a show that runs
for 8 episodes, released one at a time. You can’t see them all at once, even if you wanted. You are not in control.

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