In France, some programs are breaking audience records. The fantasy show Stranger Things was one of the most popular TV shows among French viewers, before "Game of Thrones". The most viewed TV shows tend to be series available on streaming platforms, making them easier to binge-watch or discover. Even though American or French productions are the most popular in France, European and Asian shows also manage to gain traction and viewership. Comedy programs topped the list of content preference as French viewers’ favorite type of shows.
There is no denying that TV shows are part of the daily lives of many French people, as 40 percent claim to watch an episode every day or almost, while about the same amount consumed TV shows one to five times a week. If gender makes little to no difference in terms of consumption habits, younger viewers tend to watch more TV shows than older consumers.
Online consumption plays an important role when it comes to pinpoint why TV shows are so prevalent in French viewers’ routines. Contrary to shows broadcast on television channels, watching series online is not limited to fixed broadcasting time or offer. Online consumption is much more adaptable and flexible as viewers have total control over which series or episodes and how many to watch, as well as when. Computers and television sets are the most used devices to watch series online, notably thanks to dedicated apps.
The phenomenon of TV shows goes hand in hand with the explosion of the video-on-demand market. Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime indeed offer a wide variety of TV shows and movies for a monthly fee, allowing their consumers to watch TV shows and movies at their leisure. Catch-up television, which allows viewers to catch up on an already broadcast TV program, grew in frequency over the past ten years as well. A surge in subscriptions, most notably to Netflix and newcomer Disney+, has also been registered due to the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as French people spent more time than usual at home.