Netflix may soon switch to a weekly release schedule; Report

According to a rumour, Netflix may decide to follow the lead of its rivals and choose to release new episodes of its shows on a weekly basis rather than using the binge-watching model.

The binge-viewing method of watching entertainment was popularised by Netflix. When it started releasing entire seasons at once and allowing users to view episodes back-to-back, the streaming service revolutionised the way series are watched. The streaming juggernaut may, however, soon abandon this strategy and return to the traditional weekly episode release plan that many other companies are adopting as well.

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.