Here’s a headline:
“Netflix survey says U.S. TV viewers enjoy binge-watching.”
It can be filed next to these headlines:
“The government doesn’t get along.”
“Study claims December much colder than August.”
And, “Writer: ‘Breaking Bad’ is better than whatever you’re watching.”
Let’s hear it, New York Times … No, wait! — resident CNN tech dude Brian Stelter:
“A Harris Interactive survey commissioned by Netflix and released on Friday found that a majority of streaming television viewers in the United States enjoy binge-viewing — the act of watching TV episodes back-to-back — and feel that it makes shows more enjoyable,” he wrote Friday. “The survey may also help Netflix redefine what it means to binge-view. The media, this reporter included, have tended to portray binge-viewing as an extreme sport by promoting examples of 12- to 24-hour viewing sessions. But most of the binging on Netflix and other streaming services is more casual. In the Harris survey, most of the respondents said they defined binging as ‘watching a handful of episodes (between 2-6 episodes) of the same TV show in one sitting.'”
Glad we got that cleared up.
According to Stelter, a little less than 3,100 viewers took part in the survey, and according to the Wall Street Journal, the thing took place between Nov. 25 and 27 … the week of Thanksgiving. Now, a cynic might look at that tiny factoid and suggest that conducting such an analysis during one of the most laid-back, I-am-watching-tons-of-TV-right-now weeks in the calendar year would be a way to manipulate the results. But we don’t have time for cynicism here, now do we?
Oh, we do?
Anyway, the stuff is sort of fascinating, if you take the time to comb through it. Among some of the more interesting notes: 80 percent of the people said they would rather check out a television show than browse the depths of FacePage (ha!), while 76 percent defined the exercise as a “welcome refuge from their busy lives.” Though in a box next to that statement, 39 percent of that 76 percent also noted that they define the word “busy” as “having to do the dishes.”
I’m kidding. Maybe.
And speaking of FacePage …
Tech Crunch lobbed a mid-to-large-sized grenade Friday when it landed an uber-secret document detailing FacePage’s plans to start punching TV in the throat. From Josh Constine …
“‘Avoid saying anything negative about YouTube — leave the impression of the user experience up to them’ Facebook tells its adtech partners in a leaked, confidential deck that teaches them to sell Facebook’s video ads,” he wrote Friday. “The 32-page document details Facebook’s plan to beat television with reach and YouTube with targeting, and spills the beans about an overhaul to video insights slated for Q1 2014.”
Note: FacePage is not the real name of FacePage.
This news is intriguing on two levels. 1) Have these people not seen “The Social Network?” Like, really guys: Dude is going to have your heads on a stick by Wednesday. And 2) Boy. If FacePage really wants to make waves in the Internet TV world … why wouldn’t those waves have the capability to flood entire seaside towns?
The numbers are significant: Networks only reach 55 to 61 percent of young people during prime time; FacePage racks up 70 percent. During narrowly targeted advertising campaigns, the average online reach is 38 percent accurate; FacePage’s average stands at 89 percent. By the year 2029, FacePage will control 63 percent of your brain; TV, 21 percent.
OK, that last part wasn’t true.
But you get the point: YouTube is in Z-man’s sights, and when something steps into Z-man’s sights, that something better take a few steps in the other direction (how are you doing, Winklevoss twins?). It might just be preliminary for now and this entire leak might ultimately end up being a lot of smoke with no fire, but either way, look out, Web TV. Your world is now on Mighty Mark’s radar.
Take note. You’ve been warned.