June 24, 2022

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Will Netflix stop binge releases like Stranger Things? Experts weigh in

2 min read

A scene from Netflix’s “Stranger Things”.

Source: Netflix

Could Netflix ditch its binge-release model? Stranger things have happened.

The all-at-once release strategy for television shows is a bedrock of Netflix’s strategy. The first seven episodes of “Stranger Things,” which all premiered on May 27, broke records. It was the biggest premiere weekend ever for an English-language TV show on the service with nearly 287 million hours watched.

Despite the success of its marquee series, however, Netflix is struggling to jumpstart subscriber growth. So its binge strategy is facing new scrutiny as the company looks for ways to better retain its subscriber base.

“With Netflix, or anyone, never say never,” said Peter Csathy, founder and chairman of advisory firm Creative Media. “Just like they said ‘no way, no advertising,’ don’t assume that binge viewing is forever.” He added: “Binge viewing is on the table.”

Investors are questioning Netflix’s ability to address subscriber losses and growing competition in the streaming space. The streamer’s stock plummeted over the past year from $700 per share to around $160. The company reported a loss of 200,000 global subscribers during its first quarter earnings report in April. It also warned of deepening trouble ahead, forecasting it would lose around 2 million global paid subscribers during the second quarter.

Now, Netflix is reconsidering several core tenets that once made it the king of the nascent streaming world. Co-CEO Reed Hastings said the company is exploring lower-priced, ad-supported tiers in a bid to bring in new subscribers after years of resisting advertisements on the platform.

Those familiar with the streaming space suggest more changes could come, including a stronger focus on franchise content and even a change to staggered releases of new episodic content.

Netflix has toyed with different release models, mostly due to pandemic-related delays in production, and noted that splitting seasons into two parts can be a…

2022-06-15 21:39:38

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