It's no secret to anyone that Netflix has been going through a rough patch lately. The service, regarded as one of the biggest video streaming services in the world, is seeing its subscriber count drop for the first time in years. To hear former subscribers explain why they're leaving, the best Netflix original series are just too few and far between, to say nothing of constantly increasing prices (and more than a few content-related controversies). Because of this, Netflix needs to ponder every option possible in an attempt to turn the tide around. One option that a number of industry insiders suggest could prove fruitful would involve radically shifting the service's release strategy of dropping whole new seasons at once.
Netflix is clearly considering some new strategies to shift its fortunes, and a move away from its current signature release cycle, and towards one favoring weekly episode releases, could be among those options, according to a number of analysts and experts talking with CNBC.
When dropping new seasons of its shows, Netflix will typically release the entire thing all at once, making all the episodes available on premiere day. This means that users who want to binge through the whole thing in an eight-hour marathon can do so if they wish. This is in stark contrast to the approach streaming services like Disney+ are taking. There, episodes are dropped weekly, in a strategy more akin to live TV. You won't be able to binge-watch straight off the bat, but this strategy also cuts down on spoilers and gets people talking about the show for longer. And if you'd rather binge-watch, you can wait until all the episodes are out and do so Netflix-style.
So far, Netflix has stuck with its binge-release model for its own in-house productions. Its biggest shift to that strategy so far has been splitting seasons into two, most recently done with the fourth season of Stranger Thingswhere the first part premiered on May 27th and the second part is due to release on July 1st.
Weekly episodes might go a long way towards keeping subscribes hooked for longer. That's probably not a strategy for growing back a user base on its own, and so far Netflix hasn't even signaled that it's pondering such a switch. For now, we're just left to consider the possibility of what our future entertainment would look like with a whole lot less binging in it.