'Binge-racing' is the next stage of binge-watching evolution
We’ve all done it — most of us anyway — but now there’s an officially coined hashtag-worthy name for it: binge-racing.
The rise of streaming brought the rise of binge-watching, consuming episode after episode of a show without the pesky problem of having to wait a week in between. Now binge-watching, it seems, has brought the rise of what Netflix calls binge-racing.
The binge-racer will gorge on an entire season of a highly anticipated show within 24 hours of its premiere on the streaming platform. According to Netflix, 8.4 million subscribers have binge-raced a show in their lifetimes and the trend has increased more than 20 times between 2013 and 2016.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life ranks as the No. 1 show on Netflix that users will binge-race. The remaining top 20 globally ranked shows are as follows: Fuller House, Marvel’s The Defenders, The Seven Deadly Sins, The Ranch, Santa Clarita Diet, Trailer Park Boys, F is for Family, Orange Is the New Black, Stranger Things, Friends from College, Atypical, Grace and Frankie, Wet Hot American Summer, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, House of Cards, Love, GLOW, Chewing Gum, and Master of None.
“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,” Brian Wright, Netflix’s vice president of original series, noted of the trend in a statement. “Netflix allows you to watch in a way you never could before, and there’s nothing better than seeing a show engage our members and ignite a passion for viewing.”
However, with binge-racing comes the danger of quantity over quality. Fortunately, Netflix’s ambitious goal of spending $6 billion on original content in 2016 brought us many critically acclaimed hits, but not everything was a success. Critics didn’t take so kindly to Iron Fist, Gypsy, and Girlboss, and Netflix started canceling some of the more critically praised series like Sense8 and The Get Down.
Now, according to The New York Times, the company wants to spend between $7-8 billion on content in 2018. So we’ll have plenty more opportunities to race each other to the season finale finish line. Hopefully they will all be races worth running.