How long is too long to wait for a new season of TV?
April 30th, 2024, Janice Fernandes

How long is too long to wait for a new season of TV?

New seasons of hit TV shows like Stranger Things, Euphoria, The Last of Us, and Yellowjackets have been pushed back to 2025 after massive delays in production. How long are viewers willing to wait for the next instalment? A recent YouGov study looks at British viewers’ TV preferences, including how they prefer to watch shows and how long is too long when it comes to waiting for the next season of their favourite shows.

The survey reveals a nation of dedicated TV watchers, with over half (53%) reporting daily consumption of shows across streaming platforms like Netflix and YouTube, as well as traditional live television.

Nearly half (46%) express a preference for binge watching (all episodes released at once) while a smaller portion (16%) favour the traditional weekly release schedule. Interestingly, a significant segment (37%) doesn't have a strong preference, suggesting flexibility in their viewing habits. This flexibility is more pronounced among older viewers, with nearly half (47%) of those over 55 having no preference compared to younger audiences who lean more towards a specific format (58% for all episodes at once and 16% for weekly releases among 18-24-year-olds).

The wait for a new season can be agonising, but survey results suggest a surprising level of patience. Nearly a quarter (24%) report being comfortable waiting for six months to a year for a new season, 18% are willing to wait for more than a year, while a third (34%) state they are unlikely to lose interest regardless of the wait time.

What motivates viewers to endure the wait? 

Quality is the most important factor when it comes to why viewers would wait for the release of a new season. Over four-fifths (83%) of viewers cited the quality of previous seasons as a reason to wait for a new instalment. This focus on quality cuts across age groups, but younger viewers (18-24- and 25-34-year-olds) also display strong emphasis on genre (42% and 40% respectively) and characters’ storylines (46% and 45% respectively) as motivators. For older viewers (45-54 and over 55), factors like platform availability (33% each) and anticipation for the storyline (39% and 32% respectively) play a prominent role.

While promotional materials and trailers might pique the interest of younger viewers (25% of 18–24-year-olds), overall, hold less sway, with only 16% of Britons reporting them as a motivator for waiting out a show's hiatus.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on April 19-211, 2024, with a nationally representative sample of 2,016 adults in the United Kingdom (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, social grade and region to be representative of all adults. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Image: Getty Images