The platform usually releases full seasons all at once, but we would be seeing a shift to a weekly episodic model like other streaming platforms.
Since television has been television, fiction, animated and documentary series have premiered their seasons adopting the rhythm of one episode per week, and it has always been traditional for a series to return in September with a new season and close in May. But VOD platforms were born with the aim of overthrowing the archaic traditional system of content consumption on TV. And Netflix was one of its main promoters.
In fact, it was Netflix that broke the mold by releasing full seasons of series: no more having to wait a week between episodes, since you have them all and watch them at your own pace. This model is still in use, for example, Cobra Kai season 5 premiered last Friday, but the competition does not usually adopt it. That's why HBO Max series like Game of Thrones, its prequel House of the Dragon, Disney+ series or The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power from Prime Video choose the episode per week. What if Netflix did the same now that the competition is much stronger than before?
Weekly episodes on Netflix
According to Collider, the Netflix platform is considering adopting an episode-per-week model for its upcoming new series or seasons of series. The reason? A series that runs for several weeks keeps viewers hooked for longer, which may attract more viewers and/or subscribers.
When a big Netflix hit premieres, like Stranger Things, people talk about it constantly for a week or two at most, and then move on to the next one. But at the rate of one episode a week, people would talk about it for a month or two.
In fact, we have seen how the streaming platform has spaced out the release of new seasons of some of its series. Reality series like The Circle and Love is Blind are now premiering in batches of episodes spread out over a month, and highly anticipated titles like Stranger Things, Ozark and mega-hits like La Casa de Papel have seen their latest seasons split into two parts, all to hook users longer on those titles, especially on social media.
In favor of or against?
It is clear that the model works, just ask Disney+ -which along with Disney's other VOD services has already surpassed Netflix in monthly subscribers- and Prime Video who use this model, and the result is that viewers keep coming back to their platforms every week to watch the new episode of series like She-Hulk: Attorney at Law or The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. When you space out a series with a weekly episodic model, you get your viewers talking about it, reflecting, theorizing, or commenting on social media, maximizing engagement time and at the same time its popularity.
Would we win or lose with this model? One of the disadvantages is the same that series and their episodic model have had all their lives: waiting between episodes. One of the advantages is that we would no longer have to watch the series at full speed to avoid spoilers on the Internet.
Source | Collider