Netflix’s “Stranger Things” scene.
Can Netflix throw away its binge release model? A stranger happened.
The all-at-once release strategy for TV shows is Netflix strategy. The first seven episodes of “Stranger Things,” premiered on May 27, broke the record.that is With about 287 million hours of viewing, the service was the biggest premier weekend in history when an English TV show was broadcast.
Despite the success of the Marquee series, Netflix struggles to drive subscriber growth. As a result, the company is looking for ways to better maintain its subscriber base, and its binge strategy faces new scrutiny.
Peter Csathy, founder and chairman of advisory firm Creat v Media, said: “As they said “No way, no ads” Don’t assume that the glance will last forever. “He added. “At a glance, it’s on the table.”
Investors are questioning Netflix’s ability to deal with subscriber losses and intensifying competition in streaming space. Streamer shares have plummeted from $ 700 per share to about $ 160 over the past year.The company reported Loss of 200,000 global subscribers First quarter financial report for April. He also warned of a growing problem, predicting that the number of paying subscribers worldwide will decrease by about 2 million in the second quarter.
Now Netflix Rethink some core beliefs It once made it the king of the early streaming world.Reed Hastings Co-CEO, the company Explore low-priced ad-supported hierarchies To attract new subscribers after years of resistance to advertising on the platform.
Those familiar with streaming space suggest that more changes may be made, such as a stronger focus on franchise content and changes to staggered releases of new episode content.
Netflix has experimented with different release models, primarily due to pandemic-related production delays. He added that splitting the season into two parts can be a “satisfying and long binge experience” for subscribers.Still, the company doesn’t suggest migrating from releasing all episodes of the script series at once... Instead, decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Netflix declined to comment.
“When Netflix started, it really had a field in itself,” said Robert Thompson, a professor at Syracuse University and a pop culture expert. “One of the reasons they started to be Bing was to get people to talk and actually launch a new original programming. They succeeded in that, but now it’s a completely different case. “
Netflix has discontinued licensed content such as “The Office” and “Friends.” This allowed subscribers to go back and watch repeatedly every month. Instead, there are well-known shows such as “Stranger Things,” “Bridgerton,” and “The Witcher,” as well as a vast library of series that haven’t reached the same level of fame or popularity.
Thompson said that all shows released on streaming services will eventually be exaggerated. The platform controls how these are first introduced to the audience.
“Release the Netflix model all at once adds value to Binji,” said Nick Cicero, vice president of strategy for data analytics firm Conviva. “This allows customers to consume at their own pace, but relies on a deep catalog.”
“Turn it over is a weekly thing designed to bring people back and look forward to it. It’s a very different model of marketing,” he said.
About services such as Disney+, HBO Max And Hulu, the release of individual episodes, keeps viewers hooked for weeks. In other words, the monthly churn rate will be lower. Netflix subscribers, on the other hand, can watch all seasons of the show they are interested in and end the service at the end of the month.
In the picture in this photo, the Netflix logo displayed on the screen of the smartphone is displayed in the background with a graphic representation of the stock market.
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By stringing content throughout the year, services like Disney can not only invite subscribers to stay monthly, but also persuade them to prepaid their annual subscription fees. The company’s Disney + platform leverages two of the largest franchises, Star Wars and Marvel, to keep subscribers revisited.
The company released the “Boba Fett Book” published from late December to early February 2021. After that, “Moon Knight” was added in late March, which continued until early May. And in late May, “Obi-Wan Kenobi”, which continues until the end of June, will be released. “Ms. Marvel” arrives in early June and continues until late July. In August, “She-Hulk”, which contains episodes up to October, and “Andor,” which concludes the first season of November, will be released.
And in December, Disney + will release the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Christmas Special. By staggering these releases, the company can invite Star Wars and Marvel fans to stick to service in the long run.
“With Netflix, it’s very easy to join for 3 to 6 months and then leave for 3 to 6 months,” said Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter. “When’Stranger Things’ is over and’Welcome to Ozark’ is over, now?”
in recent years, Netflix experimented with weekly releases Some reality shows haven’t tried this strategy in the script series.
“We basically want to give our members the choice of how they see it,” said Peter Friedlander, head of Netflix’s US and Canadian screenplay series. Early this month.. “Therefore, in these script series, providing the option to watch as much as you want when watching is the basis of what we want to offer.”
However, Netflix has set out to split the season in half or part to extend the season. The fourth and final seasons of “Welcome to Ozark” were split into two, as was the latest season of “Stranger Things.” The last two episodes of “Stranger Things” Season 4 will begin streaming on July 1, including the 2.5-hour finale.
Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said at a financial results briefing in the first quarter of April, “There was actually a practical reason for the division of the season before. This was due to Covid’s delay and some. It was all the projects that led to the division of the season. ” “But what we found is that fans are like both.”
“So being able to split it gives them a really satisfying Bing experience for those who want a really satisfying long Bing experience,” he said. “And in some cases, the new Stranger Things season will come almost three years after the last one or more, while we’ll be able to offer a follow-up season in a few months. .. “
Netflix has long maintained an all-at-once model because it wants subscribers to have more control over when and how their content is viewed. Programs such as “Made,” “Inventing Anna,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and “Squid Game” have all been in the top ten for several weeks on streaming services, and Netflix shows when word-of-mouth is communicated. Shows that it may last longer with a new audience.
Still, Netflix can learn a lot from the staggered releases of “Welcome to Ozark” and “Stranger Things” to determine if there are other script series that will benefit from this strategy.
Pachter is Netflix Amazon We release 3 episodes a week.
“We’re confusing, but we respect what our competitors respect and there’s definitely something we think they’re doing right,” said Pactor. “It’s not a policeman.”
Netflix’s all-at-once release strategy may set it apart from other streaming services, but it also means that you need to increase the output of your content to fill the gap between the series. For example, instead of having 30 shows throughout the year, Pachter says he needs 300 shows.
“Netflix data dumps mean that we need to run more content to minimize churn,” he said. “If you focus on quality over quantity, you’ll be much more successful.”
For years, streaming services have long been popular, including “Parks and Recreation,” “Schitt’s Creek,” “Mad Men,” and Marvel-based superhero show suites, using license agreements with networks and studios. I was filling the library with a series. ..
Those contracts have expired and the show is currently taking place at other streamers. In another blow, Netflix is losing 12 seasons of CBS’s “Criminal Minds” at the end of the month. Another staple of the Netflix collection, “New Girl,” is expected to leave the platform in 2023.
“Breaking Bad,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “NCIS,” and “Supernatural” are currently stuck.
These types of series, with seasons or dozens of episodes, have been a major driver of watching traffic on streaming services for years. Netflix now relies more on its own original content. Relies heavily on content creator transactions Surprise hits such as “Squid Game” and “Love Is Blind”.
“Netflix has a lot of content, but the iconic evergreen content hasn’t caught up with the catalogs of other streaming services out there,” Cicero said.
That’s why Creatv’s Csathy believes Netflix should focus on developing franchises or purchasing franchise rights that have already been established.
“Rather than hitting all the titles against the wall to see what’s close to the consumer, we’ll focus on franchises and well-known brands,” Kathy said. “The smartest bets are those with name recognition and a built-in audience.”
“Wall Street will reward those who come out with less public strategy,” he added.
Still, some people don’t think Netflix can quickly rethink its established strategy.
Media and streaming analyst Dan Rayburn said: “I don’t think Netflix will take a look anymore.”
Instead, Rayburn predicts that streaming will continue to experiment with new models, such as plans to add ads-supporting plans to the platform.
He said the harsh stock reaction was the result of Netflix drawing all its revenue from streaming. This means that if the show doesn’t work well, or if the increase in service subscribers slows down, it will react immediately.
After all, streaming analysts say content spending will not decrease despite continued economic pressures such as inflation and high interest rates, and the potential for a future recession. Competition in streaming space will allow these companies to create and deliver more content.
“The question is where the dollar will be redistributed,” Kathy said. “For Netflix,” less, more “is a strategy that benefits them. “
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBC Universal and CNBC.