Binge-watch big-shot Netflix is abandoning its binge-friendly model for the release of a new show, according to a Fox Business article. BGSU students have mixed feelings on the streaming situation.
The streaming company suffered a decrease in earnings and membership this summer. In response, Netflix is trying a new method of content streaming: the removal of the ability to binge. Rather than release the entire first season of the new show “Rhythm + Flow” for viewers to watch in one sitting, the season will be broken up and released in weekly batches.
Outcry has already been expressed against this change in the model. Many students have grown accustomed to Netflix binging as it has been the company’s selling point for years.
One student who disagrees with Netflix’s decision is resident adviser and frequent Netflix watcher Stephen Kells.
“I think when you force people to have to watch the show, like at a certain time and date, it kind of just takes away from its appeal,” he said.
The method is compared to cable television due to its designation of specific times to watch episodes of a certain show.
“You can sit down and bang it all out in a night which is crazy, just to have that ability to waste your time like that,” sophomore creative writing major Lo Riddell said.
She took a neutral stance regarding the situation, saying she is curious as to where these changes will ultimately take streaming services.
“If the future of media consumption looks like this, that would definitely affect the industry in a multitude of unknown ways,” Riddell said.
Honors College Assistant Director Sean Oros is in the more optimistic camp regarding Netflix’s change.
“It’s kind of nice not to have everything released immediately for obsessive consumption,” Oros said.
Oros is not a frequent watcher of Netflix but is aware of the financial hardships the company is facing. He cites the company’s “debt philosophy;” the company is always receiving funding but is always in debt due to production costs. He then cites the upcoming streaming challenger Disney+ and how Disney is so wealthy, so it will never have that problem.
“They’re bound to be looking for financial alternatives to how to adjust their model to be able to weather the storm,” he said.
Netflix has since tried to clear the air, saying the company never intended to disband the binge-method entirely. The switch from series-binging to season-blocking is meant to preserve the endings of their respective shows, protecting the viewers from spoilers. The prospective success of this change-up, however, may shift the stance of the Netflix executives.
the weekly release of licensed titles (like Great British Baking Show) 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— Netflix US (@netflix) September 3, 2019
The question then ultimately stands: what would make Netflix more money?
“It depends on how much the idea of binging is truly a foundational cornerstone on the Netflix experience or not,” Oros said.