Netflix is soon to face some of its toughest challenges yet, thanks in part to the imminent launch in November of Disney+ with the massive pile of streaming content it’s already assembled to offer fans of Disney’s myriad brands plenty to binge for a low monthly price.
One of the aspects of the Disney+ user experience that hasn’t been talked about too much yet is the fact that some of its shows, like The Mandalorian, will be released week-to-week instead of the familiar all-at-once binge, Netflix-style. Hulu’s originals (Hulu, of course, also being a Disney-owned property) has already gone done this road — and it should perhaps come as no surprise that Netflix, looking over its shoulders, is experimenting with this format, as well.
Fans of The Great British Baking Show, for example, who fire up their Netflix app today and search for the latest episode of the British reality show that pits British bakers against each other will see, right there on the image for the series, the following label directly above the news that a new episode is coming this Friday: “New episode weekly.”
Reality shows certainly lend themselves to this kind of format, never mind the fact that it’s certainly interesting to see Netflix backing off ever so slightly from the all-at-the-same-time release schedule it popularized. Speaking of reality shows, Netflix is also posied to launch Rhythm + Flow, a music competition show topped by Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and T.I. which will follow a similar release pattern.
According to Netflix, the show will feature a “search for the next hip hop sensation” and will bring together “industry legends across a multi-city search in hip hop epicenters Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, and Chicago, to find raw talent and help undiscovered artists pursue their come up.” Per Screen Rant, it’s also eschewing bingeability, with a release schedule instead that will feature grouped episodes.
The first four episodes of the series will be released initially, with grouped episodes similarly forthcoming regularly after that.
This news won’t necessarily come as a surprise to every Netflix viewer. Fans of The Patriot Act with Hasan Minaj, for example, will already be accustomed to new episodes that come at a weekly clip. It’s certainly interesting, however — and should be a comfort to Netflix fans — to see the streamer not so much taking a cue from rivals as working to give its subscribers a range of content in a mix of different formats. Because while there’s no simple road map to withstanding the onslaught from new rivals it’s about to face, offering users as much as possible and keeping an attitude of fearless experimentation definitely seems like an indispensable part of the equation.