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Stranger Things season 4 netflix

Stranger Things Season 4 – Image: Netflix

Weekly vs. binge. That’s been the biggest lingering debate for Netflix for years and while you might fall into one camp or the other, could the split-season compromise be the way forward, at least for its biggest shows? We think so.

Netflix has faced increasing competition for years and has recently experienced slowing growth after the pandemic, leading both pundits to call for change and Netflix itself to change course on a number of key issues.

Netflix, for example, has been insisting for years that they will not introduce ads, but given the coverage of recent weeks, that is about to change. Perhaps the second biggest change people have suggested is abandoning the binge model that put Netflix on the map in the first place.

Earlier this year, we weighed up the pros and cons of going weekly versus the binge. For the pros, we noted how viewership sustains and keeps conversations for the title going over time and how it reduces churn. On the negative side of binge, we argued that Netflix’s lineup doesn’t support it, which would mean bigger shows wouldn’t be able to find an audience because they’d suck up all the oxygen, and we ended up concluding that the user interface of Netflix would. need an overhaul to support weekly as well.

So that brings us where we are now with Weird stuff dominating the summer confirms why we think split seasons are the way forward, at least for the bigger Netflix shows and here’s a rundown on why and why it’s good for shows to be split.

We have to make all this caveat with the fact that dual releases aren’t new to Netflix.

We’ve seen countless shows, especially in the past year, that use the release method. Ozark most recently, the fourth season split in early 2022, Match split the fifth season (which was originally supposed to be the last) into two halves and money robbery also split his final season.

ozark season 4 wendy byrde

The final season of Ozark was split into two halves – Photo: Netflix


Disney+ shows show why split seasons can be more effective

Disney+ doesn’t cut shows into halves, but from the performance of their shows we can see why splitting into halves not only keeps the momentum going, but also allows shows between the two halves to live and breathe.

If we look at Google Trends (which isn’t viewership but rather shows interest/demand), you can see from three recent Marvel releases, Loki, Hawkeye and Moon Knight, that there are two clear peaks. One for when the series premieres and one when the series finale takes place.

Google Trends data for Marvel shows on Disney Plus

Google Trends – Loki vs Hawkeye vs Moon Knight

By splitting seasons on Netflix, they too can replicate this trend with the time between the release of Volume 1 and Volume 2, allowing other shows to start (something Disney+ typically doesn’t) and thrive. After all, since the release of Weird stuff season 4 volume 1, we’ve seen over 55 new Netflix Originals arrive on the service.

However, in order not to let the show fade, as we have seen with Weird stuffwill ensure the release of bonus content, teasers and trailers for the upcoming volume, which will support the conversation until the release of Season 4, Volume 2.

That seems to be the trick with Stranger Things a few weeks after its launch, keeping the majority of interest, according to Google Trends, from being lost as it has been in the previous two seasons.

stranger things google trends

Stranger Things Interest for Season 4 vs. Season 2 and 3


Split seasons provide more episodes per season

Another bonus of the split seasons that we’ve seen drop so far is that they are often extended seasons.

Many miss the network TV days where we would get close to or over 20 episodes per season, but if split seasons can demonstrate their value to Netflix, it may become more common. matchsticks split season had 16 episodes, which was higher than the 10 it usually dropped and Manifesto Similarly, it will also receive an unusually large fourth season.

manifest season 4 everything we know so far

Manifesto gets a super-sized final season – Photo: Warner Bros. Television


Helps reduce churn by two quarters instead of just one

If you’re only subscribed to Netflix for Stranger Things, split seasons are more likely to have you subscribed to Netflix for two quarters (or two months over two quarters) rather than just one month you would if it was just at once. fall.

That’s good for the quarterly numbers of Netflix subscribers, especially now that they are more scrutinized more closely than ever† Also from Netflix’s point of view, that gives them more time to try and get you hooked on something else.


Most Netflix shows have to stick to binge

We should keep in mind that split seasons will likely only be reserved for Netflix’s biggest shows. Think The WitcherBridgertonThe Umbrella Academy in terms of scale with most other shows that are new or much smaller and still have the classic binge model you know and love.

That said, some Netflix shows still need to and will try different release schedules to see what ultimately leads to the most viewers. We’ve seen reality shows come out in batches of 3 (although data doesn’t really indicate this helps a series grow) and we’ll also see shows that Netflix distributes internationally, such as weekly K-dramas imported from South Korea.


Do you like the split-season model that Netflix has been trying out over the past year? Do you think it’s here to stay? Let us know in the comments below.


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