Ever since Disney+ launched over 18 months ago, it has been releasing its original programming weekly on Fridays. However, during this time, Disney has been making some changes to its strategy.
Last May, Disney started releasing its documentaries in batches, making them much more binge-able, but it hasn’t made the change to its drama or animated series.
This month, Disney has made another big shift in its release strategy, moving new Disney+ Original series releases to Wednesday’s. This has already proven a success, with the first episode of “Loki” being the most popular premiere on Disney+ so far.
With Netflix having lots of success with the binge format of releasing an entire series at once, Disney+ has often come under criticism about keeping a traditional weekly release. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to both release methods. For big shows like “The Mandalorian” or “WandaVision”, a weekly release keeps fans on pace, and the show continues to build in popularity throughout its weekly releases, as fans discussed the latest episode, either by the watercooler or on social media.
However, this isn’t always the case, and many series can lose momentum with a weekly release, especially if fans aren’t either connecting with the show or just skipping it.
Recently, Streamer reported that a survey was being sent to selected Disney+ subscribers asking about the release of “Big Shot”.
“If new episodes of Big Shot were released all at once (instead of one each week) do you think you would have watched more episodes, the same amount of episodes, or fewer episodes?”
This market research indicates Disney is investigating the idea of releasing shows all at once.
“Big Shot” has been one of my favourite original shows on Disney+ so far, but it has been completely overlooked by many subscribers. This could be because of the marketing of the series, but much more likely, it is that the show was in the shadow of “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” and the Marvel shows.
This summer, Disney+ will have multiple shows being released weekly, and now they are being split between Wednesday’s and Friday’s, giving them all much more room for subscribers to watch them, but also notice that new episodes have been released.
It’s also worth noting that Disney will be able to achieve its own data this summer with a number of new releases. “Solar Opposites”, Marvel’s “M.O.D.O.K”, and the second season of “Love, Victor” have all been recently released on Hulu in the United States in one go, while internationally on Disney+, these shows are being released weekly. So Disney will be able to compare some statistics into the viewing habits of its viewers on how these shows have performed. Disney has also been experimenting with releasing new episodes of its National Geographic and Disney Channel shows on Disney+ in the United States, dropping them in batches or individually. Which again, will just provide Disney with much more data on users preferences.
The success of major shows like “The Mandalorian” and “WandaVision” will likely continue to be released weekly. But for other shows, Disney might be willing to experiment. Especially since Disney+ isn’t in the same position it was, with production now in full flow and the pandemic causing fewer issues to its schedule.
Would you have watched more or less of “Big Shot” if you could have binge-watched the show?
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.