Many television executives have long been baffled by the success of Netflix Originals and online streaming overall. The confusion has been so great that NBC commissioned a study as to why people are so willing to start watching a show on Netflix but are less likely to watch one on traditional TV, such as NBC.
What they found shocked NBC executives, but it is something cord cutters have known for some time. They found that viewers won’t pick up a new show if they can’t watch all the old episodes. This finding was even more profound for shows that are one large story arch.
With Netflix, viewers can always go back and watch the first episode of a show; however, if you miss the first episode of an NBC show and are unwilling to buy it you may not be able to get caught up. The inability for people to get caught up is something that is turning away new viewers.
NBC also found that nearly half of viewers wait until they hear good things about a show before they watch it. This is also something that likely won’t surprise many viewers. With the growing number of shows at viewers fingerstips on demand cord cutters are unlikely to leave the show they are watching now to jump ship to a new show without researching it first. Long gone are the days of just watching what is next on TV.
“That’s a big deal…. Everybody in the business has to take heed of that 54%, because it’s a huge issue,” said Alan Wurtzel, NBC’s president of research and media development.
“It’s one of these things where, like, ‘Don’t waste my time on stuff that I’m really not going to like,’ and that puts a pretty big burden on us to essentially get people to kind of sample a program,” Wurtzel explained.
But there is hope here for NBC as 72% of viewers say they are willing to watch shows live on NBC if they have already seen past episodes of the shows.
Although NBC has not announced how they plan to implant these results into their show analysts expect to see NBC make a bigger push to make their content available online. For now cord cutters should be happy just to see that NBC is willing to take a new look at how they release shows.
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