Hulu isn’t going to let viewers stream as many episodes of its new original programs as they want to, a method of TV series consumption that has become popular thanks to Netflix and Amazon.
Instead, Hulu announced this week it will replicate the linear TV model of releasing one new episode each week on its OTT service, which is both ad-supported and subscription-based.
So why is Hulu bucking the OTT trend? It could be that its original shows aren’t getting enough attention. “We want to give viewers the opportunity to discover their favorite shows every week,” said Craig Erwich, Hulu’s SVP and head of content, speaking at the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour. “We value the shared experience and the joy of the watercooler that is television.”
Hulu is attempting to buck the binge-viewing trend
It’s unclear what Hulu is hoping to gain from a traditional TV release model.
While viewers love to binge watch entire seasons of their favorite TV shows, having full seasons available on demand helps viewers catch up and stay caught up on a TV series throughout the season, as appointment viewing is no longer the mode of video consumption for most viewers. That’s why NBC experimented with an on-demand release of the first season of its new series “Aquarius,” a model it plans to replicate for the second season.
Networks don’t like the binge-model release because it cuts into the linear TV ratings – which neither Hulu nor its owners NBC, Fox and Disney have to worry about for Hulu’s original series.
At the TCA event, Erwich noted that a weekly release model helps to build anticipation for the next episode, but it may also give modern viewers who are now faced with more premium content options than ever just enough time to forget about a Hulu series.
Erwich added that by…
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