The question that has tasked show-runners, platform bosses and schedulers since the dawn of streaming has reared it’s head again. To support the binge, or tease the release? Do you lean into the changing viewing habits and release every episode at once to allow fans to have viewing marathons? Or do you go traditional, release weekly and hope to create anticipation and buzz? So-called “Watercooler” conversations in workplaces the next day:
“Oh my God, did you see….?”
Last year Amazon’s superhero subversion show The Boys was released all at once and generated huge views, huge conversation and off the charts review scores. However the buzz was brief. Watchmen and The Mandalorian, among others, went traditional and the effect pleased the studios.
Maybe somebody at Amazon thought they were being smart? Best of both worlds. Cover all the bases. Because when they released Season 2 of The Boys this week it was a combination of the two. The first three episodes were fired out all at once, and then the rest will be weekly. Predictable, in the process, instead of winning over fans of either approach they seem to have annoyed everyone.
ComicBook.com has reported disgruntled fans are review bombing the series and have forced it’s score down in protest. One star reviews almost all center on the release schedule:
“This is 2020…. we don’t want staggered releases of episodes…”
“…way to take the best thing about streaming and completely tanking it…”
Streamers themselves are slowly pushing things back to weekly as the data shows more and more customers were subscribing to a provider to watch one show, bingeing it, then cancelling their subscription. Being flighty and hopping from platform to platform without any commitment. Weekly encourages customers to stay.
Whereas this approach has run face-first into global COVID lockdowns where huge numbers of people are at home with time on their hands.
Regarding The Boys, will Amazon flinch?