Has Netflix Fixed The Water Cooler?

Nolan Feeney suggests that the era of binge-viewing has revived casual conversations among coworkers:

“Binge viewing is more about staying current and getting caught up so you can have those water-cooler conversations, and less about stockpiling episodes,” [VP of Comcast Matt] Strauss says. “As they get more caught up, we’re finding viewers are more like to stay caught up.”

Comcast also found that pre-linear premieres—offering the first episode of a season online weeks ahead of its live airing—hasn’t seemed to cannibalize viewership or splinter interested audiences into pieces. Rather, for a majority of shows, the practice appears to be growing and developing audiences: After Comcast offered the first episode of A&E’s Bates Motel ahead of schedule, the regular premiere saw a 35-percent boost in viewers in Comcast markets as opposed to non-Comcast markets.

Lindsay Abrams studies how the Netflix factor has lured millennials back to watching episodes live on TV, rather than streaming online:

After inviting myself over to a friend’s cable-equipped apartment to watch “Breaking Bad’s” premiere, I started showing up, instead, to a bar in Park Slope. They also have cable, along with “Schraderbrau” on tap and, for the past several weeks, have been packed to capacity. That’s right — people have actually been standing through the entire hour, commercials and all.