One of the silliest stories of the week has been panic about a potential change in strategy at Netflix.
The streaming giant announced that it will release two reality series – the UK import “The Great British Baking Show” and the Cardi B-backed music show “Rhythm + Flow” – in a weekly format rather than its signature binge-watching model of releasing all the episodes of a season at once.
This is nothing new. All over the world outside of North America, Netflix adopts the binge model strategy for essentially all the original series it produces (ala “Stranger Things,” “Mindhunter”), but often its acquisitions of current season titles from other U.S. networks and streaming services it chooses to employ a weekly release strategy – posting episodes weekly within hours of their U.S. airing.
It uses this approach for shows such as “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Riverdale,” “Black Lightning,” “Better Call Saul,” “Designated Survivor” (first two seasons) and more, though on occasions it will hold back until a season is done and then release it all at once as it does with shows like “Titans,” “Bodyguard” and “Peaky Blinders”.
Nevertheless, the news of two shows going weekly for United States viewers raised unfounded concern Netflix would be completely changing its business model and release series weekly. The streaming service has now had to issue a statement reassuring fans that is not the case: “The weekly release of licensed titles (like Great British Baking Show) isn’t new and in hopes of keeping Rhythm + Flow’s winner a surprise, we’re trying something new! but not happening with more new shows than that.”
The bingeing model, which is Netflix’s signature, is here to stay it seems.