Radio Lessons #101 – To Binge or not to Binge

Just when we got used to watching television on our own terms with the unshackled model from the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Stan; the realm of streaming video platforms is set to shift again with Apple TV+ and Disney+ launching worldwide later this year.

These newcomer services will alter three key paradigms:

What we watch; fragmenting the landscape further with fresh offerings.

Where we watch, with Disney+ exclusively hoarding all of their own content including the Disney-owned catalogues of Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, essentially gutting competitor’s libraries.

And the third is perhaps the most significant; how we watch – signaling the death of binge watching. Both Apple+ and Disney+ are promoting they will revert to the tradition of set viewing times for the release of new shows and the return of audience anticipation, eagerly awaiting the next episode to air.

This new, old approach brings TV back in line with radio manifesting the power of benchmarking and the water-cooler talk generation of shared experience. Anchoring an audience to a moment in content can create amazing traction, and in a social media world, the spill-on effect of commentary, review and discussion about that content can be bigger and better than any marketing campaign.

This shift in TV serves as a good reminder the next time you feel the creative urge of renovation and consider dropping or floating the benchmarks in your show – quite simply the answer is generally, don’t.

If its good enough for Apple and Disney – it should be good enough for you!

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5 Sep 2019 - 9:09 am

However, just because they will be doing it as their model doesn’t mean it will ultimately be successful. Netflix and Stan both offer content where a new episode drops weekly. I, for one, wait until there is a substantial amount of content released before I will watch (or even try a new show). The only times I break this rule is when it is an ‘event’ in which social media spoilers would be unavoidable. I can’t imagine every offering from Disney will be the next Endgame…

Anna Brennan
7 Sep 2019 - 6:17 pm

I had this experience watching The Hunting (SBS series, four episodes) recently. Waiting for a single ep to drop definitely took my back to my childhood!


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