Though the term is synonymous with the service, it seems streaming giant Netflix doesn’t appreciate the term ‘binge-watching’ which is used to describe the act of watching multiple episodes of a series in a short period of time – often one after another.
Though VHS and DVD season box-sets pioneered the practice in the 1990s and 2000s, it was its adoption on streaming services – especially one like Netflix without ads and with multiple seasons on hand for a cheap price – that truly led to it becoming a widely adopted practice and the term becoming a part of the pop culture lexicon.
Now though, in an interview Guy Pearce gave to Empire Film Podcast to promote his new Netflix series “The Innocents” which debuted last week, he revealed he was advised not to use the term whilst doing press:
“I don’t think Netflix likes the term ‘binge’. When we did the promotion for [‘The Innocents’] in the [United States], we were strictly sort of instructed beforehand not to talk about ‘binge-watching.'”
The reaction is probably due to the negative connotation of the term ‘binge’ when applied to other practices such as binge-drinking which are seen as unhealthy or antisocial. However there’s push back against that term as well in this social media age – not everyone wants to do drink, game, watch, etc. in small doses on a regular basis, vastly preferring the occasional big night out (or in).
Studies into binge watching have also been contradictory – some saying its bad for your health, others praising it as a stress reliever and emotional enhancer. As of last year, around 61% of Netflix users regularly watch between 2-6 episodes of a show in one sitting.