The rise of video streaming services not only changed the way that content is delivered to consumers but also the way that said content is consumed. While traditional TV channels used to release new episodes of their shows episode by episode, week after week, streaming services typically grant consumers access to an entire season worth of episodes at once, enabling them to watch whenever they please.
While it may take away the thrill of waiting alongside millions of fellow fans for a new episode of your favorite show, the practice of releasing a slew of episodes at once does grant viewers an unprecedented degree of freedom and flexibility. Just as consumers have gotten used to binging entire seasons in as few sittings as their schedule/social life allows them, the industry seems to be moving away from this popular practice.
As competition intensifies and big names such as Apple and Disney
are entering the scene, many players are returning to a weekly release schedule for their most popular shows, taking away one of the features that made streaming so popular in the first place. According to a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult
and the Hollywood Reporter, Americans won’t be happy with that trend. When asked about their preferred release schedule for TV shows on streaming services, 44 percent of the respondents said that they prefer getting all episodes at once, as opposed to 15 percent who prefer a weekly dose and 21 percent who think the mix of the two strategies (i.e. releasing a couple of episodes at once and then moving to a weekly schedule) is ideal.
As the following chart illustrates, there is a significant generational gap in how Americans want to be served their TV shows: while young adults have gotten used to the all-you-can-watch approach, most older citizens are either indifferent or content with the weekly release schedule they have known for decades.