The end of binge-watching on Netflix? This very disturbing poll could motivate the platform to change everything (and that's good news)
By Quentin Piton Journalist Series – Cinema Journalist specializing in series, cinema, but also anime and manga. Spends his time dreaming of Emma Watson, considers Olivier Giroud the GOAT and refuses to speak with those who are against the absolute truth which is: How I Met Your Mother is a better series than Friends. What if Netflix ends binge-watching soon? If it seems difficult to imagine the platform without such functionality after having democratized it so well in recent years, a recent survey suggests that this strategy could… lead the site to its loss.
The end of binge-watching on Netflix?
Announced as a revolution at its launch, a real alternative to television, the Netflix streaming platform is getting closer and closer to the dinosaur it was supposed to erase. Between the introduction of advertising, the end of the freedoms granted to creators who see their works canceled at any time because they are deemed unprofitable, but also the broadcasting of live programs or reality TV shows, we do not see more how the giant differs from a simple channel like CBS, TF1 or the BBC.
Well, in reality there is still an argument that allows Netflix to keep its distance from television: binge-watching. Today, the platform still regularly continues to put all of its new seasons online in one block in order to allow subscribers to watch the episodes as quickly as possible. Yes… except that even this originality could end up disappearing.
The poll that could fold all the cards
According to a survey carried out by YouGov – taken up by Variety, spectators would trust the functioning of the streaming platform less and less. While there have never been so many series created in the world, audiences would no longer want to waste their time watching something that might be canceled along the way.
“A quarter of American adults now prefer to wait for the broadcast of the last episode of a season before starting it, summarizes the American site, citing 27% the fear of seeing the series be canceled with an unresolved plotSimilarly, the poll shows that “nearly half of Americans (46%) sometimes or always wait for a series to end before starting to watch it “. Aoutch.
Netflix vs subscribers, cohabitation no longer works
An anecdotal survey? No way. Since Netflix usually releases an entire season the same day, it opts (among other criteria) for a very special calculation to analyze whether or not this creation deserves to be renewed. : it looks at the number of people who have gone to the end of the viewing in a given time.
Unfortunately, if this way of doing things seems logical at first sight, it is quickly to forget a detail: < strong>binge-watching is sometimes overwhelming for viewerswho don't have the time to discover a new series/sequel, nor the desire to swallow ten episodes in a weekend. Also, it is not uncommon for some subscribers to wait several days to watch a bit of the sequel, then several more days to finish everything.
A logical and healthy way of consuming (it allows you to better savor , analyze and understand the series, its subject without having the impression of being at fast food), but which is not yet assimilated by the leaders. Seeing that the public did not watch everything as quickly as expected, they foolishly imagine that the fiction is not appreciated, leading to its cancellation.
This is what allows Ted Sarandos (CEO) to brag about never canceling successful series, convinced that he has analyzed the behavior of the public well, and viewers to be wary of Netflix, they who have not no longer want to get involved when their passion is not respected.
The Netflix model that has become obsolete?
And that's where this survey comes in and reveals its importance for the future of the platform. After all, if the trend continues (or even increases with more and more subscribers who prefer to wait to know the future of a series before starting it), the audiences will inevitably plummet and make the reading grid unreadable. put in place by the leaders. In fact, they will no longer dare to invest or create, and viewers will no longer have many original things to watch.
Faced with this, there is then a solution: end the binge -watching before returning to a more classic broadcast mode. A concept that may appear old-fashioned, but which has already been successfully adopted by competing sites such as Disney+, which offers episodes of its Marvel or Star Wars series on a weekly basis, or Prime Video, which opts for blocks of two to three. new episodes per week. Of course, it wouldn't be a miraculous evolution (a series that isn't destined to find its audience won't work that way anymore), but it could nevertheless allow certain creations to experience a second wind and to Netflix to avoid a few strategic errors.
With more airy programming, it would be easier for subscribers to schedule a viewing session to watch the episodes and therefore go to the end of a season more serenely and naturally. Moreover, it is by making the pleasure last over several weeks that Netflix would also make sure to increase the buzz with more regular and longer heated discussions on the Internet, at work or at school, which could then intrigue and attract new viewers more quickly. A simple and basic way of doing things, but which has already proven itself and which would give credibility to the decisions of the leaders.
Change is already happening now
Hard to imagine Netflix voluntarily denying its values at the risk of breaking its image and falling into line by looking like any other platform or channel? However, it is already somewhat the case. You probably didn't miss it, but the streaming site more and more regularly cuts the seasons of its flagship series (La Casa de Papel, Stranger Things, You) into two blocks of a few episodes, one or two months apart.
A somewhat strange (even frustrating) way of doing things, but which works in view of the success of the series concerned. We imagine then that other tests could be launched in the future, turning (definitively?) the page of binge-watching.