With or without another winter COVID surge, this holiday season will surely look a bit different than last year’s. Nearly twice as many people plan to spend the Christmas holiday in-person with friends or family compared to last year, and when the food and chit chat subside, a whole lot of them will be streaming movies and TV shows.
According to a recent CivicScience study, one-in-five Americans are “very likely” to binge-watch streaming content this holiday season — with more than half of the Gen Pop at least somewhat likely. Everyone’s idea of binge-watching is a little different, but for our purposes, let’s consider it to mean watching multiple episodes or movies in one sitting.
They’ll have a bounty of new shows and new seasons of returning series to pick from in December. Although some might opt for catching up on a recent buzzy show like Yellowstone, CivicScience honed its focus on shows that will stream later this month or have already released new episodes this month.
Perhaps with the holidays in mind, the streamers are releasing some heavy hitters: Netflix’s The Witcher and Cobra Kai are set to return, with Disney+ debuting The Book of Boba Fett. Each of the aforementioned series drew top interest from nearly one-quarter of respondents who selected their most anticipated series from the available choices. And Netflix’s Emily in Paris, which was created by Sex and the City creator Darren Star, is outpacing the spinoff to his earlier hit in interest.
Frequent binge-watchers are most dialed into The Witcher, with nearly half of daily bingers selecting it as their top December pick — and it also draws nearly one-third of infrequent binge-watchers. Emily in Paris performs especially well with weekly binge-watchers, and by far the weakest with infrequent marathoners. In what might be a testament to the numerous Star Wars series’ status as a cultural event, The Book of Boba Fett drastically outperforms with the least-frequent binge-watchers compared to all other types of viewers.
Twitter has a way of amplifying certain shows to seem significantly more popular than they actually are (see: Succession), but it’s still fun to see certain series command such outsized conversation when viewer numbers are harder than ever to measure. Most of the December releases CivicScience isolated are touted as hits by their respective streamers, and The Witcher edges out the rest by a comfortable margin among daily Twitter users. Much like with infrequent binge-watchers, The Book of Boba Fett performs best with non-Twitter users, which should indicate broader cross-generational appeal.
Streaming shows are all but designed to be polished off in short order before you shelve them in your memory for another year between seasons. If the data is any indication, then this holiday season will be time for family and marathoning — if not necessarily in that order.