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Sprinting a media marathon: Uses and gratifications of binge-watching television through Netflix

Published on Oct 5, 2015in First Monday
· DOI :10.5210/fm.v20i10.6138
Matthew Pittman5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UO: University of Oregon),
Kim Bartel Sheehan21
Estimated H-index: 21
(UO: University of Oregon)
“Binge-watching” represents a radical shift for twenty-first century media consumption. Why do people select this method of television viewing? A survey administered to 262 television binge-watchers identified factors that influence binge watching, several of which are somewhat different than factors impacting other types of television viewing. Factors salient for regular bingers are relaxation, engagement, and hedonism. For those who plan ahead to binge, program quality (aesthetics) and the communal aspect (social) also come into play. Those who binge on an entire series in one or two days value engagement, relaxation, hedonism, and aesthetics. We also discuss the theoretical implications and future development of uses and gratifications.
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  • Citations (21)
Cited By21
Published on Nov 27, 2018in Journal of Communication Inquiry
Lisa Glebatis Perks5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Merrimack College)
This essay uses grounded theory to analyze interviews with a dozen people who media marathoned while going through a health struggle. Three prominent relationship-focused themes emerged from the analysis: (1) Interviewees experienced “parasocial encouragement,” drawing inspiration from characters’ perseverance; (2) interviewees often marathoned stories recommended by family or friends, which led to conversations about the stories; and (3) interviewees struggling with depression or anxiety were a...
Published on Apr 22, 2019in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 2.03
Thomas J Billard3
Estimated H-index: 3
(SC: University of Southern California)
This study investigated the influence of television consumption patterns on changes in attitudes toward depicted social out-groups. Participants were randomly assigned to view six episodes of Amazo...
Published on Mar 16, 2019in The Social Sciences
Extant results on the binge-watching outcomes have been mixed. This study sought to examine the crucial factor of attentiveness that might help to enhance viewer experience and mitigate post-binge regret, as well as differentiate the motivation of narrative transportation from narrative completion. While narrative transportation involves a viewer getting unconsciously swept away by the story, the motivation of narrative completion is a more self-aware, cognizant effort to progress through the st...
Published on Jan 11, 2019in The Social Sciences
Sarah E. Erickson1
Estimated H-index: 1
Sonya Dal Cin19
Estimated H-index: 19
Hannah Byl1
Estimated H-index: 1
Increasingly, audiences are engaging with media narratives through the practice of binge watching. The effects of binge watching are largely unknown, although early research suggests binge watching may be motivated by a need for escape and could be associated with some qualities of addiction. In this study, we ask whether the practice of binge watching impacts audience engagement with a media narrative. Using an experimental approach, we manipulate the format of exposure to media narratives (bin...
Published on Jan 8, 2019in The Social Sciences
Kelly Merrill Jr.1
Estimated H-index: 1
Bridget Rubenking1
Estimated H-index: 1
Binge watching, or serial viewing of a single program over an extended period of time, is a relatively new norm in television viewing that is becoming more popular than traditional appointment viewing. Previous research has explored various influences on binge watching; however, the current research is unique in exploring theoretically and empirically grounded predictors of both binge watching frequency and duration of binge watching sessions by means of a survey administered to college undergra...
Published on Jan 1, 2019in Communication Studies
Lisa Glebatis Perks5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Texas at Austin)
This study uses Grounded Theory to analyze interviews with a dozen individuals who media marathoned while going through a health struggle. The analysis addresses five major themes: engaging in escapism that enables emotional and avoidance coping, regulating cognitive expenditure by embracing challenging or comforting content, being still to heal the body, reducing emotional and cognitive strain by engaging a continuous narrative, and tapering from the marathon when feeling better. Findings sugge...
Published on Jan 1, 2019in Computers in Human Behavior 4.31
Maèva Flayelle2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Luxembourg),
Natale Canale11
Estimated H-index: 11
(UNIPD: University of Padua)
+ 3 AuthorsJoël Billieux33
Estimated H-index: 33
(UCL: Université catholique de Louvain)
Abstract The widespread practice of binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of a TV series in one session) recently generated concerns about associated negative outcomes. Its psychological investigation, however, remains fragmentary. Based on the previous phenomenological investigation of TV series watching, we developed and validated two original assessment instruments, assessing TV series watching motives and binge-watching engagement and symptoms, respectively. Preliminary items were...
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Journal of Adolescent Health 3.96
Michael Townsend Cooper1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center),
David Bard18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
+ 2 AuthorsStephanie Deleon2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Abstract Purpose Release of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why in March 2017 raised concern over associated suicide attempts. This study aimed to identify trends in self-harm admissions to a tertiary children's hospital with special attention paid to the time after series release. Methods Records for admitted patients ages 4–18 years from January 2012 to October 2017 were identified based on ICD codes indicating self-harm. Admissions were grouped by month, and the ARMA (Auto Regression and Moving...
Published on Oct 20, 2018in Communication Research Reports
Viola C. Granow , Leonard Reinecke13
Estimated H-index: 13
Marc Ziegele7
Estimated H-index: 7
(HHU: University of Düsseldorf)
Binge-watching—the intensive, consecutive viewing of televised series—has become a prevalent usage pattern of entertainment media, which may influence users’ psychological well-being both positively and negatively: On the one hand, binge-watching could increase viewers’ enjoyment, recovery experiences, and vitality through an increase in perceived autonomy. On the other hand, binge-watching can trigger goal conflicts and feelings of guilt, which may reduce well-being. Drawing on an online survey...
Published on Oct 20, 2018in Communication Research Reports
Bridget Rubenking7
Estimated H-index: 7
(UCF: University of Central Florida),
Cheryl Campanella Bracken16
Estimated H-index: 16
(CSU: Cleveland State University)
Binge-watching, simultaneously treated as both guilty pleasure and legitimate health concern in popular press and academic discussions, is a pervasive media behavior. Yet distinguishing it from other ways of television viewing remains elusive in communication research. The present study employs empirically supported variables to determine if different outcome expectancies are relevant to the frequency of binge-watching as contrasted with appointment viewing of television through the lens of the ...