‘House of Cards’ Falls to Walter White: TiVo

Breaking Bad finished its live run on AMC last fall with record ratings, and it appears to be staying on top of the heap as consumers now turn to video-on-demand and over-the-top streaming outlets to binge on the series about teacher-turned-meth-lord Walter White.

In a survey of 15,196 consumers conducted by TiVo Research and Analytics and released last week, 35% of respondents said they binged on Breaking Bad, outpacing Netflix’s House of Cards (29%) and HBO’s Game of Thrones (25%). AMC’s The Walking Dead (24%) and PBS’ Downton Abbey (23%) rounded out the top five. TiVo Research defines binge-viewing as watching three episodes of the same program in one day.

The survey also showed binge-viewing is no longer just a trend, but a way of life for an expanding group of consumers: 91% of those surveyed said they participated in this fine art, with 40% saying they had binged within a week of the survey and 69% revealing they had binged within the last month.

About 29% of respondents said they deliberately put off watching an entire season of a show until they could watch the whole season at once.

That has contributed to another emerging habit TiVo Research has begun tracking — the “super binge,” which occurs when a consumer gobbles up an entire season (or more) of a specific program over multiple days. TiVo Research said about three-quarters of those surveyed had done some supersized binging, with 14% having done so in the week prior to the survey.

And, they have no qualms about it. TiVo Research found just one-third of respondents said they felt the term “binge viewing” had negative connotations, compared with 53% who thought so in TiVo’s April 2013 survey.

TiVo conducted this year’s study in April, tapping into a panel of TiVo subscribers whose second-by-second viewing behavior is anonymously tracked on an ongoing basis (they all opt-in to the program).

Separately, TiVo’s anonymous tracking data for the year revealed additional binge-viewing trends.