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How Can Streaming Services Charge More While Taking Away The Ability To Binge?

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Streaming services gained their popularity by allowing viewers to binge TV shows and movies wherever and whenever they wanted. Everything is getting more and more expensive these days so it seems reasonable for their prices to be going up as well. What doesn’t make sense is that they are switching over to the typical TV premiere format by only releasing one episode per week. Unless you wait for every episode to come out over however many weeks, streaming services are taking away your ability to binge. The weekly release vs binge debate is happening, let’s dive in.

History of Streaming

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Growing up as a Zillennial, it was always fun having a sleepover at a friend’s house when their parent’s would drive us to pick out a DVD from the Netflix machine at the grocery store. Netflix switched its focus from DVDs to streaming in the United States in 2010. Netflix became known for releasing entire seasons of shows all at once. 

Disney+ and Hulu became big competitors with Netflix but they started doing things differently. Disney+ changed the game when they made their viewers wait for a new episode of the Mandalorian every week. Dropping one episode a week created more buzz around the show and other streaming services definitely noticed. I remember being in high school and the lunch table was strictly for discussing the shows that were on the night before. If you missed the episode the previous night because of a sports game or studying you had to listen to spoilers. With social media, shows premiering at a certain time every week became much like a watch party. Not everyone likes this. Some feel pressured to watch every week to avoid spoilers and others avoid the show and social media all together until every episode has aired.

Due to Netflix gaining its popularity by dropping an entire season of a show at a time, when they tried releasing the new episodes weekly it caused a big uproar with their customers. This caused them to compromise by releasing a few episodes at a time. I’ve seen as little as 3 and as many as 5 depending on how long the show’s season is. 

Paying More For Less

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Looking at everything from streaming services point of view, they claim that weekly releases create more audience engagement and keep us subscribing to their service for longer. The argument against dropping entire seasons at once is that the viewer could binge it all in a few days and then unsubscribe from the service. According to Minute Hack, weekly releases keep customers on the hook longer and during that time the streaming service is hoping we find something else that interests us to keep us subscribing.

My Two Cents

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What I don’t like is that I’m paying more for less content. Why should my subscription fee go up for only one episode a week? It doesn’t seem fair. We made streaming services so popular because we binged a bunch of shows. Where I can see weekly releases being okay is on platforms like Hulu that allow us to watch shows from traditional TV. This is the only acceptable situation in my opinion. I’m paying to binge content and if I can’t do that why am I paying so much? What do you guys think? Is it fair to charge us more for weekly releases? Will you continue subscribing to these streaming platforms? Let us know!

What do you think about the weekly release vs binge debate? Do you think streaming services should try the weekly format or do you think it is unfair? Let us know in the comments!

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