Have you wondered why Netflix is changing some of its release schedule, like breaking seasons of Ozark and Stranger Things into smaller chunks? Well, Antenna has some data for you. Antenna is a research company that tracks consumer spending on streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+. We all know Netflix reported a loss in subscribers earlier this year, following a price increase and attempts to quell password sharing. The data from Antenna shows that Netflix was losing more users in their first month of service than competitors like Starz and Hulu in recent months. Then, after splitting up key shows into volumes, this drop becomes less pronounced, as people have to stay subscribed longer to see the whole show. Netflix declined to comment on these findings. For more details, check out an excellent breakdown here.
I don’t think this should come as any great surprise; this is exactly why Disney+ staggers its Marvel and Star Wars releases and puts episodes out weekly. It is interesting that the first big streaming service is struggling with maintaining viewers and finding new ones. It seems strange to me because Netflix shows make up so much more conversation and pop culture influence than a lot of what Disney+ or HBO put out. Password sharing might account for some of the loss; maybe people quit Netflix only to bum someone else’s account? It seems like Netflix shot themselves in the foot by releasing entire seasons in one lump and are now having to switch tactics to stop the bleeding. Time will tell whether the audience will tolerate this change in the long run.