From October 2019, Netflix will only release chunks of episodes from certain new series each week, instead of releasing the entire series in one go for viewers to binge watch. Some original programming, such as The Great British Baking Show and Rhythm & Flow, are already subject to this change, leading Netflix fans to question whether they’ll be left in suspense for new episodes of future series such as Stranger Things.
One theory behind why Netflix is making this change is due to new competition from Disney Plus and Hulu, who are creating fresh and exciting streaming service deals for families. By releasing some shows on a weekly basis, they will have more value due to being subject to more speculation about how they will end, more people will tune in each week to view the next instalment, and so on.
This new release schedule will also mean fans of certain series who are low on time won’t be stuck avoiding the internet for several weeks while they get through the episodes at a slower pace. People won’t be able to post spoilers which will ruin the entire series for those who view them accidentally, and it will be easier for viewers to watch the series at the same pace, creating more of a collective viewing experience.
While this new release schedule may be a disappointment for some, rest assured that it won’t be applied to all new Netflix content. For example, shows which aren’t based on premises such as competition models and therefore won’t have the same kind of hype around them – with major spoilers to be had about who makes the semi final, or wins overall – are less likely to be released in smaller batches.
Although some have speculated that this major change could spell trouble for Netflix, plenty of financial experts have said it’s too early to make an accurate prediction about whether the streaming platform will experience any consequences as a result. Indeed, although platforms such as Disney Plus and Apple TV symbolise a new threat for Netflix, statistics aren’t currently reflecting an indication that people are going to be leaving the platform in droves just yet. While Netflix stock has fluctuated slightly recently, it’s possible that this release schedule change could be just what the platform needs to regain its footing in the streaming wars.
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