We all know that binge-watching is a part of our lives and everyone else's. But when did the precise phenomenon of bingeing take-off? Well, you can thank Netflix and a little show called House of Cards. Here's what you need to know about what bingeing is - officially - and how we went from watching an episode a week to a series in a sitting...

The ever-growing popularity of streaming TV and movie services has revolutionised the way we view content. The era of waiting days for the next episode of your favourite shows has passed. Now we time shift and create our own schedules. We’re the masters of the viewniverse! Go Binge means you can listen to and watch popular services like Netflix, Apple Music, Deezer, TVPlayer, and Soundcloud. Plus you can use Snapchat as much as you like, without fear of overstepping your data allowance.


Mobile Binge GenresVia The Binge Files


The origins of Generation Binge


Binge viewing isn’t a new phenomenon and was a by-product of the growth in popularity of TV boxsets in the 90s. But it wasn’t until the new millennium that bingeing hit its stride. Aided by the availability of digital downloads and online DVD rentals. By 2010 these services were beginning to take a sizeable chunk out of the global sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs. The UK’s rental DVD market was dominated by LoveFilm. But, in the US, another company was making huge strides into the VoD and DVD rentals market: Netflix.


From 2007, Netflix offered streaming. But it wasn’t until 2013, with the company’s shift into TV and movie production, that House of Cards changed everything. Before this point, if you were patient – or late enough to the party – you could binge old shows. But with new shows? Forget it. Fast track to now and there are even types of TV bingers, who probably all need Go Binge. We even have phones with OLED displays and edge-to-edge screens. Plus, we’ve dedicated 140MHz of spectrum to delivering our 5G service. That’s 50MHz more than any other UK network operator. Even more reason to Go Binge.


The Atlantic’s Richard Lawson summed up this new phenomenon when he reviewed the series back in 2013:


“I started on episode 6, and 7 hours later, there I was, blinking my salty eyes and dying for more,” he wrote. “The fear, really, was that I’d be left behind if I didn’t finish.”

Then, in 2013, Netflix premiered the entire first season of House of Cards on the same day. This was when we truly unleashed our binge demon, and we’ve been feeding it ever since.


Main pic: Getty via Mixmike