Remember when you mailed DVDs back and forth from Netflix? (AKA the last time you were excited about getting your mail) That’s right, you received 5 episodes at a time on a single DVD of Jack Bauer (from 24) having the worst days of his life. Heaven forbid that the next episodes you needed were all checked out or Netflix sent the wrong DVD in your queue.
Thankfully, we’ve all changed.
Netflix could be described as a “thought leader” in terms of how video content is being distributed these days. (Our very own Art Henson knows a little something on the topic) Traditional TV release schedules for shows are having a hard time keeping up with these changing viewing habits.
The binge watching service definitely capitalized on a major entertainment consumption shift: the DVR. Entertainment is now enjoyed when it’s most convenient for the viewer, instead of sitting down each week at the same time to watch a show. While the tradition of making buzz about a show on a weekly release has been the standard, Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos says that’s not the case anymore.
The biggest difference that Netflix has brought to the table is their own original content that is released a season at a time. Every single episode is available the day it “airs”.
Wouldn’t Netflix benefit from people talking about the latest episode released once a week? Why not build excitement about such popular content? It turns out they don’t need to, for two key reasons Sarandos explained in a recent interview.
“There’s no reason to release it weekly,” Sarandos told HitFlix. “The move away from appointment television is enormous. So why are you going to drag people back to something they’re abandoning in huge numbers?”
He went on to say that viewers want to watch shows differently now. A weekly schedule doesn’t fit into the viewing habits of our mobile lifestyles. DVRs are the replacement for live TV as viewers record and watch shows “in multiple stacks.”
This may be the prelude or the accompaniment to Netflix’s success for accommodating binge watching. People want to stick with a show all the way through instead of juggling several shows at once and watching new episodes once a week.
“If you decide tomorrow you want to watch ‘Breaking Bad,’ you’re going to spend the next two months watching all of ‘Breaking Bad’ before you move on to something else,” he said. “Which is radically different than, you know, a show a night viewing the way people used to do.”
There are many ways your business can stand above the competition. But the most successful is to think of your own innovations that haven't been tried yet. There's "thinking outside the box" and then there's "not limiting yourself to even thinking about that box."
Understanding your audience for the content you produce becomes the breaking point for success or failure. Realizing the importance of market research and the desire to communicate effectively about what you can offer is the first step in becoming your own industry thought leader.