Another Reason to Prefer Books to Televison

No one anywhere ever has or will refer to reading books for hours on end as “binge reading.” Also, this metaphor doesn’t make any sense at all.

CEO Reed Hastings made his disdain for how antiquated linear channels are in his letter to investors accompaying Netflix’s resurgent fourth-quarter earnings last week.

“Imagine if books were always released one chapter per week, and were only briefly available to read at 8 p.m. on Thursday,” he wrote. “And then someone flipped a switch, suddenly allowing people to enjoy an entire book, all at their own pace.”

But the irony of Hastings depicting linear scheduling as a remnant of some previous incarnation of TV is that binge viewing could be seen as a vestige of an earlier era of Netflix — one before its increasing emphasis on original programming and exclusive licensing transformed the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company in ways it may not fully understand.


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