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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Why does Netflix release all episodes of a season at once, while most other streaming providers release episodes on a weekly basis?

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?

Join our discussion!