Netflix Is Introducing Weekly Episode Drops To Help Curb Your Rampant Binging Habits
Marie-Antoinette may have declared, “Let them eat cake” to a peasant class starved of bread and basic necessities, but now it appears Netflix is saying, “Let them wait” to a generation that can only consume content all at once.
Delayed gratification is a foreign concept for most of us, and for the most part streaming giants like Netflix have made that acceptable behaviour. However, it wasn’t always this way. During the glory days of TV viewing, with shows like The Wire or The Sopranos, we cancelled plans and fit a whole routine around the shows we needed to watch, knowing that if we missed the episode not only would we be out of the loop, but we’d also have to wait another week until the next episode.
Then Netflix came along and well, we didn’t so much cancel plans as refuse to emerge until an entire season – sometimes multiple – was consumed, including the credits, deleted scenes, and fan theory videos. If we were to get real with ourselves, we’d probably admit that our inability to consume an episode weekly meant we aren’t really giving a show the proper attention it deserves. Instead, we burn through it from start to season finish.
According to reports from ComicBook, Netflix will now release some series on a weekly basis. For instance, if you’d planned on sitting down with an orange and poppyseed cake and sitting through the whole season of The Great British Bake Off – well, you can think again. The show will be the first to implement the new weekly episode treatment, with only one installment from the new collection currently available to watch. The programme does show dates for the upcoming episode releases, so thankfully you can schedule your viewing time and now when you need to tune in to avoid spoilers at the office break room, but essentially there will be no room for binge watching here. Now, we’re all be keeping up with the reality competition as we would on regular cable TV.
Another show set to receive the same treatment is Rhythm & Flow, featuring T.I., Cardi B, and Chance the Rapper as judges. The rap competition will be released in groups each week, with the first four episodes expected to drop on October 9, followed by episodes 5-7 on October 16, and the remaining episodes on October 23.
Speaking about the decision to go with weekly episode releases, Netflix said in a statement that “weekly release of licensed titles (like Great British Bake Off) 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.”
Earlier this month, it was reported that Disney+ will also adopt a weekly release schedule for its shows, such as The Mandalorian which will play out across eight weeks. Certainly, it seems that in an age where consumers have grown accustomed to the luxury of being given everything at once (hello, instant gratification), perhaps now is the time that streaming services regain some of their control.
Not everyone is pleased however. A recent poll by IGN found that 69 percent of respondents preferred to consume content all at once rather than weekly. But as The Guardian reports, by switching to a weekly episode release, a number of benefits arise as consumers no longer have to tiptoe around their colleagues or friends, wary of dropping spoilers to something they shamelessly binge-watched. Similarly, the recap ecosystem will no longer suffer, after struggling to cover shows that arrive in one piece.