The highly successful “Stranger Things” from Netflix could easily have been made into a short 2hr movie, but it was enhanced by being told from a storytelling view and therefore tuned into an 8hr long series. When Netflix usually releases a series, they release all the episodes at once. Many people binge watch and complete the season fairly quickly. Clearly Netflix has something in mind that may show the future approach for entertainment.
This model that HBO, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix are using in how they approach investment in original content is the first step to this change to offer stories as a service. Actually, the full season release on one day creates an impression that it is essentially an excellent movie that has been broken down into several episodes to be taken in your own time. It is a model that enables writers to give a lot more to the story than they would have normally due to the time constraints.
The continued investment in unique, original content by these subscription platforms indicates a major change to story-telling as a service. This means that hiring full-time creative story writers will be essential to ensuring the continued success of their business in future. In addition, it also positions these service providers as the most popular platforms, versus the traditional TV brands that are still stuck in the one show per week model.
Several studies show that at least 80% of consumers binge watch entire seasons or series, with 40% saying that they do so every month. Even more remarkably, 75% of consumers say that they prefer that the shows or season are all released at once rather than just one per week.
The current impending shift in entertainment is not very well-positioned for regular television networks, especially given their main business model. Since they rely on an advertising focus, TV networks are given the incentive to release their content over a long time, due to how they arrange advertisement deals. In contrast, Netflix and other similar services allow consumers to pay for all these stores at once as a service.
The only challenge is that consumers will continue to demand for new series, especially after binge-watching a season to completion. Once you complete a season or series in one weekend, and if you are paying for your subscription as a service, then you can easily demand it. It is now up to these online service providers to be more aggressive with regards to how much engaging stories they release often. It will mean that there will always be a fresh new story that is ready for consumption. Clearly, TV has a long way to catch up, that is if they are lucky enough to do so as Netflix and similar services continue to attract more subscribers ever week.