The term “binge-watch” has been named the word of the year for 2015. This paints a dark picture for cable companies, as it is clear that more people than ever are watching many episodes of their favorite shows at once using streaming services.
The company that named the word of the year is Collins. Workers at Collins are known for monitoring word usage across the media in order to identify words that are gaining traction and enjoying greater usage.
Although “binge-watch” was used in the 1990s when discussing complete seasons of shows that were released on DVD, the term has exploded during the current decade as a greater number of people are ditching cable for cheaper and more convenient streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
According to Collins, usage of the term “binge-watch” and its associated forms is up more than 200% from last year.
According to a report by digital video recording company Tivo, 92% of all users say that they have watched more than three episodes of a single series in one day, while 37% of users claim to have spent an entire weekend watching just one show.
Head of language content at Collins Helen Newstead said, “The rise in usage of ‘binge-watch’ is clearly linked to the biggest sea change in our viewing habits since the advent of the video recorder nearly 40 years ago. Due to subscription services such as Netflix or Sky’s NOW TV, or ‘smart’ digital video recorders such as Tivo, fans can watch what they want, when they want, for as long as they want. It’s not uncommon for viewers to binge-watch a whole season of programmes such as House of Cards or Breaking Bad in just a couple of evenings, something that, in the past, would have taken months, then discuss their binge-watching on social media.”
Other words and terms that were considered for 2015 word of the year include “transgender”, “clean eating”, “dadbod”, “manspreading”, “swiping”, “shaming”, “ghosting”, “Corbynomics” and “contactless”.
But with the winner being “binge-watch”, it must be hard for cable companies to be feeling confident right about now.