Television is additive to many consumers, from the vast entertainment collections which are now available within various streaming services, to the outstanding quality of notable award-winning shows which are served up by US and UK productions that quickly grab the attention of individuals. You may think a devotion to a particular series begins with a killer pilot episode which immediately embeds into the consciousness of watchers, but this is not the case as a new study commissioned by Netflix analysed the episode which first hooked people’s attention.
Traditional viewing restricted consumers to one episode per week; therefore if you missed the pilot then it may have been difficult to become interested in the plot of a series. The boom of streaming programs to your device has led to consumers dipping in and out of episodes as they see fit. Therefore, Netflix has “analysed its global streaming data across the inaugural seasons of some of today’s most popular shows”, which has included both Netflix original series and shows that premiered on other networks with the aim of gauging the signals that pointed to when viewers became hooked
It turns out that 70% of viewers who view the “hooked” episode went on to complete a whole season and therefore buy into the product. The episode at which a consumer becomes addicted is dependent on the series in question; Netflix have released data of 25 shows which have been analyzed for that hook moment and the results vary, from episode 2 of Breaking Bad to episode 8 of How I Met Your Mother and Arrow.
Netflix analysed viewing habits on its own service across 16 markets which included the US, Australia and Canada. An exemption within this research lies in the reality of the unavailability of certain shows in certain countries; therefore, the episode which Netflix names as the “hooked” episode is the global average. The study did find variations in viewing habits across countries including residents in Holland who tend to become captivated with a series the fastest.
This study is interesting considering the power consumers have within the platform of online viewing and the omission of endless commercial breaks. Viewing habits have rendered every episode within a season to be a pilot and a potential attraction for consumers, gone are the traditional means of waiting until next week before you found out the answer to a plot twist.
A side note to this lies in the notion of reducing dramatic build up within an episode and replacing it with all action set pieces, after all, production companies would need a hook device in every episode for a consumer base which switches between shows.
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