Netflix helped create a binge-watching culture where new episodes are all dropped at the same time and users can watch as many and for as long as they want.
But, the company is dabbling a bit with weekly releases of series. In the U.S. the service adds new episodes of “The Great British Baking Show” and new reality series “Rhythm + Flow” on a weekly basis. The company confirmed the move on Twitter and to Polygon.
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 shows than that— Netflix US (@netflix) September 3, 2019
The publication points out that Netflix does this in some international markets like the U.K., where it added new episodes of “Breaking Bad” on a weekly basis, and still does with U.S. licensed series like “The Good Place” and “Better Call Saul.”
In the U.S. though Netflix has stressed that the weekly drops for “Rhythm + Flow” is just an experiment, and that the release schedule format won’t extend further than that.
Netflix competitors like Disney+, however, are embracing the weekly drop. Disney+, which is launching Nov. 12 priced at $6.99 per month, will release its new episodes of original series like “The Mandalorian” on a weekly basis, according to a report from TVLine.
Hulu, which is majority-owned and operated by Disney, also puts out major shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale” one episode at a time. HBO Now also releases its new episodes weekly, and reports suggest that the upcoming Apple TV+ will follow the same strategy.
But, the chances that Netflix fully embracing the weekly episode drop are practically non-existent. The company has already amassed a huge subscriber base that fully expects new series to be released all at once. New services like Disney+, however, could scale their subscriber bases faster by holding back new episodes and thereby lowering subscriber churn.