Why does Netflix release all episodes of a season at once, while most other streaming providers release episodes on a weekly basis?
I don’t have any data, but here are my thoughts on the pros and cons.
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Benefits of releasing all episodes at once:
- User loyalty. I personally love watching the whole season in a short period of time. This creates added value compared to other streaming services.
- Higher chance of watching the whole season. No artificial barriers. A higher % of users get to the aha moment in the show.
- Word of mouth. Releasing all episodes at once can create a sense of urgency, which can help generate buzz and excitement for the show. Squid Game is a good example.
Benefits of releasing episodes weekly:
- Retention. A weekly rhythm helps build suspense and anticipation. If you get hooked you will keep watching for a long period of time. Game of Thrones was the main force keeping subscribers at HBO for many years.
- Word of mouth. Releasing episodes on a weekly basis can make a show feel more like a “water cooler” event. People can discuss and debate the latest developments with each other on a regular basis. This can help generate buzz and interest in the show over time.
- Opportunities to upsell other shows. There is a lot of time before the next episode. A great opportunity to upsell a user to watch something else in the meantime.
What are the other pros and cons of each of these approaches?
Which one would you choose for your product?