February 19, 2013

Cut the cord and go on a binge

Waiting an entire week to watch the next episode of your favorite TV show is beginning to seem as outdated as watching a show in real time. The DVR liberated millions of people from having to be in front of the television at a certain time on a certain day of the week. And now in an unprecedented move, Netflix recently released all 13 commercial-free episodes of its original show House of Cards – at the same time.

This is great news for someone like me who cut the cable cord more than two years ago and does not own a DVR. I have been getting by just fine with an Apple TV, a Netflix subscription and a great little digital antenna called the Mohu Leaf. I have simply adapted my TV viewing habits and like it a lot better this way. For example, I watched the first five seasons of Breaking Bad, sans commercials, on Netflix over the course of a few months. I could not imagine having to wait years to watch each of those seasons, as they were originally released, with commercials. And that is the point.

Consumers are beginning to expect to be able to “binge watch” the TV shows they are interested in, with no commercial interruptions. I am not going to make any predictions on how this is all going to play out over the next few years, but the old model is certainly being shaken up right now. Stay tuned!