Netflix is changing the way it releases some of its television series and, as a result, binge-watchers must re-adjust their viewing habits. How so? The streaming service, famous for dropping complete series all at once, decided to experiment with a new, weekly release format in which new episodes trickle out one at a time.
Fans of “The Great British Baking Show” (like myself) may have first found out about this change when they went to dive into the series’ Collection 7, which debuted on Aug. 30. Viewers who go to the show’s main screen on Netflix are now greeted by “New Episode: Weekly,” clearly listed at the bottom.
Fans of “The Great British Baking Show” were stunned to discover that their baking-binge-watch days were over, and they took to social media to voice their outrage.
Netflix has a new season Great British Bake Off-yay! But it has a new stupid format where they ONLY RELEASE ONE EPISODE PER WEEK. What the frig?? And it's a holdiday weekend perfect for binge-watching. pic.twitter.com/0qRY158ccr
— Heather (@H_M_L_75) August 30, 2019
“Netflix has a new season Great British Bake Off-yay!” wrote Twitter user @H_M_L_75. “But it has a new stupid format where they ONLY RELEASE ONE EPISODE PER WEEK. What the frig?? And it’s a holdiday [sic] weekend perfect for binge-watching.”
Another Netflix show, “Rhythm + Flow,” will have a limited release when it debuts on Oct. 9. The first four episodes will air at that time, with another set of three episodes scheduled for the following week and the last three slated to air on Oct. 23.
So why the sudden switch from allowing viewers to binge-watch shows to a weekly format?
It could be driven by streaming network competition. Disney+, which launches on Nov. 12, plans to have the same weekly-release format for shows like the “Star Wars”-based series “The Mandalorian” and other original content. Some critics say this weekly release model pushes consumers to keep monthly subscriptions over a longer period of time, which leads to higher profits for the streaming networks.
Netflix responded to the flurry of commentary on social media by defending its decision to change the airing schedule of “The Great British Baking Show” and “Rhythm + Flow.”
“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!” Netflix wrote on Twitter.
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 official tweet also confirmed that the network is not moving all of its series to a weekly-release format. So binge-watchers can rest a little easier for the moment.
How do you feel about this change?