Plenty of us have sat down, primed and ready, Netflix on the TV with that show you’ve been waiting to see ready to play, right? For the next several hours, some of us at least, will sit and binge-watch the show to have something to talk about when we go back to work, or when we see our friends and family next, yeah? There’s one big issue with that, and it has to do with the fact that not everyone we know is about to binge-watch in the same manner. The truth is that some folks enjoy binge-watching since the effort of sitting through the entire season in one day is worth it since it gives a person time to ponder what might happen during the next season, if there is going to be a next season. This is where weekly episodes tend to be a little better, since one episode released per week tends to give people something to talk about, and something to anticipate that won’t take months, or even years, to release. There is something enticing about making people wait for each new installment of a show.
There’s plenty of room to argue since, even though a week isn’t that long and can blow by quickly if one isn’t paying attention, there are those who would state that obsessing on cliffhangers and subjects that are bound to take up their every waking moment are irritating beyond belief. But the trick is these same people love that weekly high since it’s one of the things they end up waiting patiently for, sometimes. Streaming networks that release an entire season of a show or limited series can’t really be faulted since the decision to give everything all at once isn’t a serious issue. What it does is force a person to restrain themselves from watching the show all at once, or it allows them to sit and experience the entire season so that they can focus on other things between seasons. This argument can go back and forth for days and even months, but the truth is that its personal preference, and not much else that defines which is best, weekly episodes or binge-watching.
It has more to do with how much time a person has on their hands to be fair, especially when it comes to binge-watching. There are plenty of folks out there that are busy enough that they can barely keep up with weekly episodes, and can’t spare the time to binge-watch one season or another. The opposite is true as well since there are people that have all the time in the world to binge-watch and feel tortured by weekly episodes that cut off at the precise moment needed to leave fans wanting more. Don’t fool yourself, the streaming channels know what they’re doing when it comes to their release schedule, even if it might appear that they’re not making their subscribers happy at all times. The strategies employed by those in control to keep people watching and coming back are carefully laid out and take advantage of various studies that have shown how people respond to seeing an entire season released vs. one episode per week.
Results do vary, but it’s often seen that being given access to the entire season inspires a lot of people to watch the entire season or hold themselves and those around them in check by seeking to enjoy each episode with someone else. The idea of only watching one or two episodes at a time works for some folks, but for others, plowing through an entire season is as close to a movie marathon as it gets since in this manner the overall story doesn’t need to end after thirty to sixty minutes at a stretch, and can feel more like a regular feature than an episodic show. But calling one better than the other is kind of tough since it’s all about personal preference since some folks don’t mind waiting that week until the next episode, as it gives them something to talk about with friends, or theorize about when trying to figure out what’s coming next. Binge-watching can do this as well, but on a grander scale since once the entire season is watched, there’s a greater period that has to pass between one season and the next.
To be clear, watching one episode per week leaves a person with the task of trying to anticipate what will come next, while binge-watching is open to far more wide-reaching theories since there’s a better chance that people might be able to entertain one outlandish fantasy or another when it comes to determining what will happen to their favorite characters, and which direction the story will take next. The truth however is that both methods are effective at getting people to keep watching many different shows since entertaining both practices tends to give people more options when it comes to deciding what they want to watch.
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