Is Netflix Hurt Or Helped By Quick Cancellations?

Netflix' out-of-nowhere TV show cancellations may have people wondering what it means for its brand.

Better question is: Do viewers really hold a grudge going forward? And if so, against whom? This rises as the subscription video platform continues to make quick cancellations to TV series, including some popular ones.

“GLOW,” the comedy/drama based on professional female wrestlers, from executive producer Jenji Kohan, will end after its fourth season. Also, Netflix won’t produce a second season of Kathleen Jordan’s “Teenage Bounty Hunters.”

This isn’t new. Netflix has cancelled many shows seemingly abruptly, shocking some TV critics/analysts.

But digging deeper, are we really surprised? After all, Netflix doesn’t issue TV-like Nielsen ratings where experts can track viewing trends, day by day, week by week. Instead, Netflix uses its own internal data, information that is rarely released.



From all of this, you may wonder: Do loyal viewers to these Netflix shows -- now somewhat angry -- then bolt into some kind of action, like cancelling their Netflix service? We can’t tell yet.

What are TV producers left to do? Apart from getting a notice about series cancellation, figure story lines for TV series are written with more finale-feeling season (or series) ending episodes.

For example, “Teenage Bounty Hunters,” which TV Watch liked, ended its first season with a finale where there was a competition of one major story arc, while teasing another. Then, there was the news the series was ending.

Are we upset? A bit. But not crushingly so.

In the past, on live linear TV networks, viewers would see a season finale and then wait -- possibly for months -- for the next season of the program. And what were they doing in between? Watching other TV shows.

We aren’t in a traditional TV model any longer. Shows are increasingly produced and distributed year-round. While traditional TV networks have been doing this for sometime, it has been accelerated from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others.

With a continued flow of new TV shows, viewers are now conditioned to move on quickly to other content.

It is increasingly common for a typical season to run nine-to-12 episodes -- far less than the traditional TV season of 22 or 23 episodes. So now, there are longer periods of time between seasons.  Amplify this even more if you binge watch -- taking in a whole season in a weekend.

And know this: By some estimations, Netflix -- worldwide -- has been releasing, what amounts to, one new piece of content -- TV series, movie, documentary -- per day.

Is the Netflix brand hurt somewhat by quick cancellations? No. That is part of its brand definition.

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