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Study offers ‘anatomy of the spoiler’

The rise of OTT has been inevitably accompanied with the rise of the spoiler. Nowadays, people increasingly get into TV series in their own time, and subsequently find themselves treading a conversational minefield with friends and colleagues.

Indeed, according to a survey of Canadians conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of Netflix, 69 percent of us have accidentally spoiled a TV show for someone and almost one in five Canadians surveyed get so excited they can’t help spoiling when discussing TV shows.

To better understand why and how the culture of spoilers is evolving, Netflix worked with author and cultural anthropologist, Grant McCracken, who visited people’s homes to study how they watch and talk about TV.

“Spoilers aren’t the end of the world that they used to be,” McCracken explains. “Opinions and habits have shifted. Today, talking about spoilers is just talking about TV; in fact, people aren’t willing or even interested in censoring themselves anymore.”

McCracken attributes this to better TV storytelling. “Over the past few years, writers and showrunners threw out the rulebook, which has created a new and improved TV that is complex and morally challenging.  TV has gotten so good that we need to talk about it.”

Here, anyhow, is a handy video breakdown of McCracken’s study.

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