Leaders in entertainment are exploring alternatives to the immediacy consumption model that has gained popularity with the rise of streaming. They are now offering audiences an opportunity to savor and ceremonialize the viewing experience.
Netflix is slowing down its release schedules. The streaming giant announced in March 2021 that two of its unscripted competition shows, The Circle and Too Hot to Handle, are moving from a drop release to a timed release, debuting a batch of new episodes weekly. The move away from the binge model it popularized—in which an entire series is released at once—is intended to give viewers more time to digest and engage with the shows. The announcement explained that the platform is “experimenting with the release format so you have time to dissect and dish on every step of the competition as it unfolds.”
As Julie DeTraglia, vice president and head of research and insights at Hulu, tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, linear “event” television offers shared, synchronous cultural moments. “There is still something about that collective experience where people want to watch TV together and be part of a cultural conversation,” DeTraglia says.