Brace Yourselves: Binge Watching Parents Are Coming!

Game of Thrones Binge Watching

Last week we introduced a significant update to Simmons Media Behavior Trends (aka New Media Study). With the release of our Fall 2017 data, we’re happy to introduce a series of new data points for use in consumer profiling, including insights on wearables, smart home devices, TV subscriptions, streaming video services, TV binge watching, skinny bundles and statements / opinions on video.

Given this exciting development, we decided to take a deeper dive into binge watching TV behaviors and motivations. And binge watching is a topic that is near and dear to this bloggers heart. As a father of two boys under the age of 11, owner of a new puppy, and having a spouse who travels 3 days a week, binge watching has become a bit of a requirement at this stage of my life. Game of Thrones, Homeland, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead - all shows I have binge watched, partly because I have no time to watch new episodes during the week, and partly because I’ve had to catch up on previous seasons (was a late adopter on Game of Thrones). Still on my list….Westworld, Stranger Things and re-booting The Sopranos.

In this latest study, we asked respondents how often they binge watch TV shows, and the specific reasons why they choose to binge watch. Looking specifically at parents with young children and those with teens, we found that parents with younger children (aged 2-11) binge watch more frequently than those with teens (ages 12-17).

Looking at the reasons why parents are binge watching, their reasons for binging sound very similar:

Simmons estimates there are 50 million parents in the US who claim to be binge watchers, and according to the data above, over a quarter of those individuals cite “too many commercials” as the reason they binge. I can certainly relate to that notion. At times, it feels like AMC's The Walking Dead has 45 minutes of commercials and just 15 minutes of actual programming, which makes binge watching the show much more compelling. With millions of children growing up in binging households and adopting the same habits as their parents, advertising to these consumers (current and future) will be more and more challenging for brands. Advertisers will need find new and creative ways of targeting younger generations like Millennials, who are driving much of the disruption with media consumption today.

To combat the opposition amongst parents to TV commercials, brands may want to consider additional investments in TV product placements. Looking at parents w/ children who are averse to TV ads / commercials, we can see that those parents are very receptive to TV product placements. In fact, of those ad averse parents, nearly half (48.2%) agree when they watch TV, they notice brand name products used as part of the set. In parallel, more than half (55%) say they don't mind if brand name products appear in TV Shows.

When we look at these same attitudes as an index, some additional statements stand out for these ad averse parents. Compared to all online adults who subscribe to cable/satellite or streaming video services, ad averse parents are 36% more likely to agree that recognition of a brand name product seen in a TV show while shopping in a store or online makes them more likely to buy that product than a competing product. In addition, they are 25% more likely to try brand name products they've never tried before when they see TV characters using them.

Clearly, product placements within TV programs provide advertisers with a unique opportunity to reach binge watching parents who are tuning out commercials.

To learn more about how Simmons Media Behavior Trends can help you better target consumers, please contact us today.

Matt Cumello
Matt Cumello
Matt Cumello is Vice President of Marketing for MRI-Simmons, responsible for marketing strategy and execution. Matt has over 20 years of B2B marketing experience, having worked with both start-ups and established companies in market research and technology.