Netflix fanatics tend to be hooked to the service for two reasons. One, most of the shows on Netflix are just well written. Two, Netflix allows people to binge watch. Watching an entire series of a show in one or two nights is what’s so great about Netflix shows.
You don’t have to wait a week to catch up or to see what is going to happen next.
Instant gratification at its finest.
The Binge Watching Model
Binge watching is something that has worked very well for Netflix. People love to watch more than just one episode of a show, and up until now Netflix was the only channel that allowed binge watching - other TV channels still largely live by the old ‘one episode per week’ tactic. And that’s what it is, a tactic.
But it’s an older advertising tactic. One that makes people wait with anticipation until the next episode. One that used to get people hooked. In the past. But now, people are used to seeing things right away. People want the next episode right after the previous one, and they don’t want to wait. This is what Netflix delivers and it has been very lucrative for the company.
Others to Follow Suit
So it makes sense for other television networks to follow suit when it comes to Netflix’s model. Walt Disney’s network, Freeform, has recently added the entire season one of its popular shows, ‘Beyond’, to the network. Viewers can watch that one season of Freeform in its entirety right now. Other networks are set to test out the binge-watching model too.
The BBC has also added entire seasons to its lineup and HBO announced this morning that they, too, would be adding seasons for people to binge watch soon. It’s safe to say that binge watching is about to become one of the most popular forms of television. But what about traditional networks like ABC, NBC, and others?
Will Other Networks Catch Up?
While viewers love to binge watch, there are some downsides to doing so as well. Binge watching means that show addicts can’t comment on one particular episode at the same time, which largely creates a buzz on social media. The other downfall is that advertisers can’t run ads throughout a show as is the case at the moment with the traditional television model.
So most major networks aren’t willing to give up those advertising dollars - and even networks like HBO won’t allow binge watching for all shows (Game of Thrones is one popular show that is still released episode by episode). There’s also some psychological reasoning to releasing a show one by one.
The build up is one thing, but there’s also the fact that binge watching a show means that viewers move onto the next show rather quickly - and some networks do not have that ‘next show’ ready to queue. Binge watching, however, seems like the one thing that viewers want - or the one trend that’s popular right now, at least.