Netflix on When TV Shows Hook Viewers
However, none of the shows Netflix looked at, which included originals and licensed series, hooked viewers with the pilot. In fact, two shows — “Arrow” and “How I Met Your Mother” — didn’t hit the tipping point until episode 8. In the traditional TV biz, conventional wisdom holds that a show’s pilot is the most critical linchpin to igniting viewer interest, given the nature of how new television programs debut.
But don’t get the wrong idea: Netflix has no plans to use Big Data to rejigger the way TV shows get made, in order to put the strongest emotional hooks earlier in a season (which would result in more viewing by subscribers). Instead, the company sees the metrics as validation of its binge-release strategy of delivering all episodes of a season at once.
It’d be interesting to read through the full dataset – or, better, have it available on the ‘browse’ screen. “If you watch Episode 6, you’ve got a 70% chance of not being able to stop watching.”