Exactly ten years ago, after listening for months to the passionate ravings of my brother-in-law, I signed up for Netflix. To commemorate that anniversary, I canceled our DVD plan yesterday.

At one point we were getting 4 DVDs a month, but had only been getting 1 DVD a month for several years now. Netflix keeps such meticulous records that I can tell you each of the 440 DVDs that I rented, when I received it and how long I kept it. This makes it easy to see that I should have canceled a while ago.

I originally called up this data because we were researching binge viewing, the habit of watching TV episodes of a series back to back, and I was curious about our own binge viewing patterns. My wife was the first: she started binge viewing “The Sopranos” back in 2004, then I started binge viewing “Star Trek: The Original Series” a few months later, then “Stargate” and “Farscape” and “Battlestar Galactica” (old and new). Of course, Netflix’s later introduction of its streaming service made this all much easier, taking an offline phenomenon online. Sadly, I can’t do a complementary chart showing our migration to streaming, as Netflix only reports our viewing history back one month. (What? You don’t graph your personal habits?!)

U.S. television viewers have now reached the point – according to research from both MarketCast and Frank N. Magid Associates – where the majority of us have binge viewed. See our article “5 Myths of Binge Viewing” for the details.

My brother-in-law just canceled his Netflix membership altogether. Yet I imagine in 10 years I’ll still be a Netflix customer – by then my wife hopes I’ll watching shows with her that aren’t science fiction.

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.