Hulu wants people to have a chance to discuss their shows.
The online streaming service has decided that instead of releasing their new original content all at once as they have in the past, and as other major online streaming services have, each episode will stream weekly, closely mirroring traditional television. They have a pretty good reason for it too. Here is Craig Erwich, the head of content at Hulu, talking about the change:
"With all of our new originals, we will release episodes weekly," Erwich told reporters. "We want to give viewers the opportunity to discover their favorite shows every week. Like you, we value the shared experience and the joy of the watercooler that is television."
Erwich said the plan of attack allows the service to get shows to the audience faster because there's no need to accumulate a full series in the bank before releasing it on the platform.
Back in 2013, Netflix released the first season of House of Cards, a big budget TV series with major actors, and made history by making the entire series available online all at once. We've seen plenty of others follow this strategy, while traditional networks have mostly stuck with the once-per-week that we've gotten used to for years. It's clear that binge-watching is something plenty of people do, though it often comes with shows that were originally released with the traditional weekly distribution method. This new strategy will start with a few shows, including the recently cancelled-by-Fox The Mindy Project and Freddie Wong's new RocketJump: The Show.
There may very well be room for both of these viewing styles to exist, and Hulu is banking on being different than Netflix and Amazon, more closely matching the way the rest of their operation already works (since new episodes of major TV shows are released on Hulu weekly as well). Of course, if you want to wait, you'll still be able to binge-watch their new shows once they've all streamed. More than just being different, part of this strategy also lets Hulu spend less money at once, by spreading out the release of each episode over time. Financially it could be a good strategy, but we'll see if it works for their target audience, who is pretty used to binge-watching at this point.
What do you think about their strategy? If Hulu releases some shows worth watching, does it matter to you if you have to wait for the episodes?