Why NBC is totally wrong about binge-watching

For years, even the most serious business publications neglected showbiz, probably because showbiz has always promulgated the “we’re an art, not a business” thing so insistently. But them days are over, gang. Showbiz is Very Big Business indeed and Everyone Knows It. Especially when we’re talking about the dreaded ratings and all that affects them.

Take this latest example (please):

Netflix

by Nathan McAlone

In January, NBC and Netflix had apublic spat over who was better and more relevant to the future of television.

The fight centered on the data of one startup, SymphonyAM, which NBC claimed had figured out one of Netflix’s big secrets: How many people were actually watching.

One of NBC’s major points, expressed by its head of research, Alan Wurtzel, was that the so-called binge-watching revolution was mostly a bunch of smoke and mirrors.

He was wrong about this, primarily because he doesn’t factor in the scale of Netflix’s new content operations.

The theory

Wurtzel said that after a few weeks of binge-watching a Netflix show, viewers go back to”watching TV the way that God intended” — that is traditional, linear viewing — and the impact of the Netflix original goes away.

Wurtzel finished by declaring that Netflix was not a threat to traditional TV.

Was this what the data actually said?

Business Insider asked SymphonyAM CEO Charlie Buchwalter to clarify the data that led to Wurtzel’s comments….

Read it all at Business Insider