Streaming has fundamentally changed the way we watch TV, and it comes as no surprise that people are leveraging the power of Streaming TV to stay entertained during the current state of physical distancing. Generation Stream, the next generation of TV viewers, has told us that Streaming TV has changed the way they watch content. From endless choices to having more control over their TV viewing experience, streaming has given rise to a behavior we’re calling “Full Series Viewing,” in which viewers watch every episode of a series from start to finish.
93% of Hulu viewers have watched a full series and/or are in the process of watching a full series during COVID-19. With more time at home, viewers are kicking back and letting the episodes roll, discovering new content or tuning into old favorites. There’s a sense of excitement that arises when a full TV series is available for immediate consumption, and Hulu viewers are certainly indulging — and craving more.
Recognizing the appetite for TV is at an all-time high, Hulu sought to explore viewers’ commitment to watching full TV series during this time, and find out whether or not having a full series available to stream plays into the decision-making process when deciding what to watch.
When it Comes to Content…the More the Better
We’ve reached the point where Zoom happy hours have lost their luster, every puzzle in the home has been put together, and another loaf of sourdough just cannot be baked. So it’s no surprise that people are turning to streaming services to help pass the time. And what better way to do so than by jumping into a full series and bingeing it from start to finish! 96% of Hulu viewers noted that they are likely to seek content that has a full series available during COVID-19. We understand the need to watch it all. How could we finish How I Met Your Mother without knowing how Ted actually met his children’s mother?
While they’re spending more time at home, Hulu viewers shared that they are turning to their televisions to relax, stay entertained, and escape from reality. Just take it from one of our viewers, who shared how this extra time at home creates the perfect environment for watching a full TV series: “Being home more is conducive to watching series. Having the full series available makes it easier to ‘escape’ the current world’s stresses and is much more enjoyable.”
Having access to a full TV series has even become part of their criteria when choosing a TV show to watch during this time. Viewers are more open to a TV commitment, and with a full series available to stream, they are able to binge-watch content and stay entertained for longer periods.
The need for binge-viewing is not new to our current times. More than half (51%) of Hulu viewers frequently binge-watch (3 or more episodes in one sitting) and 30% of viewers are watching 10+ hours of content per week. While this is not a new concept, we’ve seen that there is a strong preference to binge-watch episodes rather than wait for new episodes each week.
Hulu Viewers are Up for Commitment & Discovery
When asked how they feel about watching a full TV series, 9 in 10 Hulu viewers say that having a full series available makes the viewing experience more enjoyable. The ability to work their way through a complete series gives viewers “something to look forward to,” and allows them more time to build deeper connections with the characters.
They also feel strongly that watching a full TV series is worth the time commitment. 86% agree that watching a full series is a “commitment they are ready for” and 72% note that they are “more likely to commit to watching a full series during COVID-19.” Full series viewing can be a social commitment or a commitment to oneself; 62% of Hulu viewers are watching full series alone, while 54% of viewers are watching content with their significant other. That kind of dedication would even make Jack and Rebecca Pearson proud.
There’s also the age-old question of “what to watch”? Do you press play on the ol’ reliable fan-favorite, or spend the effort searching for a new binge-watching adventure? For those who fall into the former, the top genres that viewers are rewatching are: adult animation, kids content, reality, and comedy. Series like Bob’s Burgers, The Bernie Mac Show, and The Golden Girls all rise to the top of recently watched, start-to-finish content. For viewers looking for something new – you’re not alone! Content discovery on Hulu has increased by 25% during COVID-19.
You did it. In the blink of an eye, you’ve managed to watch ALL the seasons of ”your” show. You witnessed the characters grow, the plot develop, and you stuck it out for all the twists and turns. But what happens when the credits roll after the series finale? Some Hulu viewers feel sad (55%) and attached (43%) to the show. We get it, it’s hard to say goodbye! On the other hand, nearly half of viewers (47%) feel a sense of accomplishment that they completed a series.
It’s clear that Hulu viewers are finding both relaxation and escapism in their TV viewing, and this is even more apparent when they are tuning into a full series. While it’s always tough to turn the proverbial page on your latest full series binge, if there’s a silver lining when finishing, it’s that there’s another one ready and waiting to be watched just one click away.