So midway through mainlining the entire season of House of Cards, it struck me that this is a perfect example of the notion of the content factor.
Cut loose from the confines of the traditional TV schedule, from the pressures of advertisers, from all the things that combine to make TV dramas in 30 to 60 minute packages, there is no reason why House of Cards could not have been released as one 11 hour narrative. Need some nachos or a natural break? Want to come back to it tomorrow? Just stop and resume playing when you're ready.
Of course, Netflix chose to release the drama in 13 episodes, because - like movies - our attachment to the TV drama content factor is far more durable than the way in which we access TV drama. Distribution channels and devices are fully converged, yet we cling to the old "shapes" of the entertainment we enjoy: we like drama in 30 to 60 minute chunks, with a satisfying resolution or cliffhanger at the end of each.