Netflix is well-known for releasing episodes of its own shows all in one go, so you can binge watch House of Cards or Orange is the New Black to your heart’s content as soon as they appear; but shows on traditional networks, from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey, still have staggered release times.
That’s not an approach Netflix is going to follow anytime soon, according to an interview Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos gave to HitFlix: the on-demand streaming service is still committed to releasing shows all at once, even if it’s not everyone’s preferred method.
“There’s no reason to release [shows] weekly,” said Sarandos. “The move away from appointment television is enormous. So why are you going to drag people back to something they’re abandoning in huge numbers?… For the most part, most people watch [traditional television] shows on demand and on DVRs and in multiple episode stacks.”
Out of order
In other words, viewing habits have changed, and there’s no going back – one day we’ll be watching everything this way, because the data Netflix has indicates that we’re all hooked on the binge watching model.
“Friends isn’t really serialised at all, but when we brought on Friends, everyone who watches Friends watches it episode one, season one, straight through,” added the Netflix executive. “No one watches their favorite episode out of order.”
The interview is well worth reading in full for an insight into all things Netflix in 2016. Sarandos also dismisses Amazon’s idea of running pilot shows for people to vote on: “I don’t know that it’s proven to be a better method. In fact it’s proven to be a very high missed method by the networks for years. Decades.”