I had missed this Nick Summers piece on Netflix’s foray into original programming, which will get going in earnest next year, anchored by a new season of Arrested Development.
One element of their strategy that’s intriguing to me: Netflix will release every episode of a show’s season at the same time rather than doling them out once a week. That could threaten the traditional notion of appointment television. What are Monday mornings for if not discussing the latest episodes of Mad Men, Game of Thrones, etc.? But the all-at-once strategy has plenty of advantages, too, as Nick explains:
“The viewing habits have changed,” said Eli Roth, who is adapting the werewolf novel Hemlock Grove into a Netflix horror series. “I don’t think people necessarily want to have a show stretched out for six months. People would much rather have it stretched out over six days. When I watch a show, I DVR them, and sit down and watch them all at once.”
“Here’s what I realized is so great about online streaming content,” Roth continued. “Let’s say in Episode 3, there was one story segment that we were certain would work, but the fans went crazy. Why the hell couldn’t we just pull it, re-edit it, and put it back up? If there’s an editorial change we want to make, and we have data to show that people are turning off at this point, we just recut it. There’s no reason you couldn’t do it. Think about that. There’s no physical DVD to reproduce; there’s—nothing! It’s right there instantaneously. You want to tweak something later, you just do it. Who cares?” Sarandos, who was standing nearby and hearing this for the first time, shrugged: why not?