Netflix famously started the trend of dropping entire seasons of a show at once, thus triggering the binge-watching generation. It makes sense, since at its core, Netflix is a video-on-demand streaming service, and for a subscriber to have everything at their disposal whenever they want it.
By making an entire season's episodes available all at once, a person can customize their watching habits to their liking. They can, for instance, just breeze through an entire season of Black Mirror straight up. Alternatively, they can parse episodes out and watch one episode a day or a week of Stranger Things.
Disney+ Wants To Drop Episodes Per Week
But Disney+ won't give its users the same range of choices, apparently. Unlike Netflix, Disney+ wants to release episodes per week and not all at once. After revealing the movies and TV shows that will be available at launch, Disney also announced that episodes will be dispatched just like a regular show on network and cable TV instead of dropping them all at once, as TVLine reports. This includes the live-action Stars Wars series, The Madalorian, and the Marvel spinoff series Loki, with episodes premiering each week.
Clearly, this model is different than Netflix's binge-watching approach. Streaming services releasing episodes per week isn't new, as Hulu has been doing that since it launched. However, Hulu sometimes drops the first three episodes of a show all at once, like it does with The Handmaid's Tale. Disney+ isn't planning to do this, too — it really wants to distribute on a per-weekly basis.
Is This A Good Idea?
This sounds like a massively terrible idea, but think about it: by releasing an episode each week, Disney+ can let the cultural conversation about a show grow more organically. Whereas releasing an entire season all at once gives some binge-watchers a lead up over those who don't want to binge-watch, and thus gives them the unfair advantage of spoiling things for other viewers, a per-weekly release schedule levels the playing field and keeps people guessing as to what could happen next.
That's not to say there's no cultural conversations around shows whose seasons drop all at once. Stranger Things remains one of Netflix's most popular outputs ever, generating tons of discussions and speculation online. But once a season drops, this conversation can get chaotic and all over the place, with different groups of people not being on the same page.
Narratives are important for Disney. Just look at how carefully it's building the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It would make plenty of sense for it to take the same approach for its shows.
Do you think this is a good idea? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!