Full Season Drops or Weekly Releases?

Posted by Matt Birchler
β€” 2 min read
Full Season Drops or Weekly Releases?
Image via Netflix

Netflix had a good quarter in Q3, and in their results (PDF), they committed themselves to releasing shows all at once rather than week-by-week as the other streaming services have done. The chart at the top of this post is included in their document and shows what while HBO and Amazon got more regular spikes from their shows, Dahmer got a much bigger bump than either of the other big shows of the season on Google.

That's definitely true, but it also kinda shows that their Dahmer show was a unique phenomenon. Here's what that spike looks like compared to other big shows on Netflix in 2022:

The kinda funny thing about this is that the Stranger Things season was actually released in multiple parts and got big spikes both times. It also shows that while Dahmer spiked super high, it is also crashing back down pretty quickly. That said, we should all be so lucky to have a show that is as popular as this!

Also, as Ben Thompson points out on the Sharp Tech podcast today, Dahmer is a show much more likely to make people Google info about the story since it's based on a real person.

I have no idea what's the most financially prudent release strategy, but I can say that as a viewer, I like the idea of shows releasing on whatever schedule makes sense for each show. If it's a documentary series, then sure, release it all at once, but if it's got an ongoing storyline with questions and cliffhangers, then I love getting one episode a week over a couple months. It's just more fun and lets me feel like I'm enjoying things at the same time as other people.

Honestly, the new model of releasing 2-3 episodes right away and then doing the rest weekly is a great format. It's enough for me to get invested, but still have something to look forward to form that show every week.