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I was coming off a binge watching experience on Netflix and finished six seasons of the Showime show “Shameless.” That’s roughly 3,744 minutes of TV watching – though I watch some of it on my phone, sometimes on the couch and sometimes at the gym.
And I like how Netflix actually coordinates my app watching with my watching on the TV via Roku. If I finish an episode on one device I can just pick up where left off on another device.
But there’s one thing I noticed when not all seasons of shows are yet on Netflix. I go and find ways (legal ones!) to watch the remaining seasons and don’t typically wait for Netflix to release them later.
So for example, Netflix has the first six seasons of the show but the seventh season is currently being shown on Showtime. I don’t have Showtime but I can watch Showtime or pay for on-demand shows via Amazon Prime Video. So in essence I could continue watching the show but I had to switch from Netflix to Amazon.
On Netflix the six seasons were included with my monthly subscription.
On Amazon I have to pay $1.99 per episode in standard definition, which appears to be fine on my big screen or I can pay for the full season.
Waiting for the release of the season that’s already out and available seemed a bit old school to me, and I wanted to see how the story on the show unfolds so I did buy the first two episodes. (And then I stopped because I decided I would file this blog post.)
Iinterestingly this is not the first time I switched from Netflix to Amazon. I did the same with Quantico. I watched Season 1 on Netflix and then Amazon started having Season 2 episodes on-demand and for a cost right after they were shown on TV. As of this writing Netflix still doesn’t have Season 2.
Since I never caught them on TV and I find watching shows on TV annoying with all the TV commercials I forked over that fee per episode. The $1.99 charge is worth it just not to have to watch commercials quite honestly.
I never actually buy complete seasons when I have to pay for them. I buy them one episode at a time. And here’s why: one time I bought an episode of another show I watched for a few seasons and it was OK. Since I had liked the previous seasons I gave it another shot and bought two more episodes. They just weren’t that good so I gave up on the entire season and gave it a couple ⭐️⭐️ on Amazon. Had I bought the whole season I would’ve felt a lot worse about the purchase.
That’s another thing to consider when you charge people for specific episodes: To have people buy and continue to buy each episode has to make them want to. Of course a good story does that.
As a consumer I always appreciate choice. There are a few things that I take from this kind of behavior and granted it’s just myself. I’m not going to claim that I did a case study of one here. ??? But this is true in my case:
- Good stories keep us coming back for more.
- Stories different from our own experiences are also a draw. Personally I can’t really relate to the family’s stories 100 percent but that also draws me in even more.
- There’s really no reason to wait for continuations of stories. This is why I love binge watching so much and this is why I typically make the jump from Netflix to Amazon when this kind of thing happens. What’s the point of having to wait another week or month or six months or whatever it might be to see the rest of the story when that story is already available to be consumed?
For the content distribution brands
For the brands-Netflix and Amazon in this case-there’s a little bit of a danger when consumers jump channels like this. For example, sometimes I don’t even remember where I was watching a show. For example, I watched a number of seasons of “The Good Wife.” The show first aired on CBS and then I watched it on Netflix. Wait. Or was it Amazon? I don’t know. Let me go check. It appears I watched on Amazon but I can’t even tell you which one it was without checking.
Why this matters …
Brand recall is actually important for the time when I have to make a decision on whether or not to cancel one or the other. Whichever one I see is more favorable or more in line with what I watch is the one I will keep.
And while the shows are not necessarily the typical authentic storytelling that I talk about here most of the time there are things in here that storytellers can learn from.
- Brand recognition is important
- Stories and storylines that you cannot put down (or look away from) are important
- Story promises have to hold up to what they promise
- Distribution matters
With that, I hope you tell and share stories that are worth remembering and that help your brand stand out for when people have to make a choice.