Netflix may soon abandon its binge-release model in favour of weekly releases, says report

Published on Sep 10, 2022 01:40 PM IST

Netflix may take a leaf out of its competitors' books and opt out of the binge-watching model for its shows, preferring to go for weekly release of episodes, a report has said.

Netflix could soon release popular shows like Stranger Things and Squid Game in weekly instalments.
Netflix could soon release popular shows like Stranger Things and Squid Game in weekly instalments.

Netflix has been one of the pioneers of the binge-watching model of consuming entertainment. The streaming platform revolutionised the way series are watched when it began releasing whole seasons in one go, allowing users to watch episodes back to back. However, the streaming giant may soon move away from this model and opt for the old weekly episode release model that many others are reverting to as well. Also read: Netflix loses another 1 million subscribers in just three months

Before Netflix made the binge watch model prevalent, shows used to release weekly, as most TV series do today as well. But viewers found not having to wait a better option, igniting a race among streaming platforms that show everyone from Prime Video to Disney+ and streamers like Voot, SonyLiv back home adopt the same model. But a new report suggests this is likely to go away soon for Netflix.

A newsletter from Puck News quotes analyst Michael Nathanson saying that Netflix will make the model ‘go away’. “It’s not a model that makes a lot of sense,” says the analyst. The report says that Netflix has found in its internal review that ‘there’s no hard evidence that week-to-week episodes reduce subscriber churn’. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was earlier averse to the idea but the report says he has now come around to it.

Another interesting thing to note is that globally, most of Netflix’s competitors like Disney+, HBO Max, Prime Video, Hulu, Apple TV+, and Peacock have already moved to the weekly release model. Prime Video experimented with weekly release model for some of its biggest shows like Rings of Power, The Boys, and Wheel of Time. Disney+ does it for its Marvel shows, and HBO Max for House of the Dragon. The report states, “The others mix and match, with an emphasis on drawing out seasons to keep customers subscribed. In a competitive landscape, that’s smart.”

Though Netflix remains the dominant streaming platform in the world with over 220 million paid subscribers, the number has been falling. Earlier this year, the streamer lost 1 million subscribers over a three-month period. This has prompted re-evaluation of several business processes and models at the company.

Netflix has experimented with staggered release of shows such as Stranger Things and Ozark, where episodes were released in bunches but not as weekly releases. Reports suggest it may begin to do so with their upcoming tentpole series like The Witcher and Squid Game.

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