In 1998, we saw the launch of a new and unusual DVD rental platform, working on a pay-per-rental model in much the same way as its offline counterpart, Blockbuster. Some 21 years later, Netflix is now a staple of 21st-century entertainment. What began as a way of consumers to rent from a relatively small selection of 1,000 titles quickly evolved into a juggernaut of TV and film production and distribution. Netflix was the first of what has become a popular subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) model. It didn’t take long before others, such as Hulu and Amazon followed suit, along with recent additions, Apple and Disney.
We’ve seen disruption occur in various parts of the entertainment industry. You can now visit a $5 minimum deposit casino Canada without having to leave home, for example, meaning that land-based casinos are forced to compete to stay revenant and avoid going the way of Blockbuster. SVOD is another disruptor of the entertainment industry, changing how people consume entertainment, and creating a whole new viewing experience.
Unique viewing experience
One of the main advantages of SVOD is that each viewing experience is unique to the user. The cable TV model is designed for the masses, whereas streaming services allow the viewer to watch what they want when they want from a vast library of content. When a user logs in, they have access to their profile that shows what they have watched previously, along with recommended content based on their preferences.
It operates like a TV channel designed for the individual user, with their favourite movies and shows available to view whenever they feel like it. It’s no surprise then that we live amid a binge-watching culture. The aim is to draw in the user and keep them viewing content for as long as possible. The next episode is just a few seconds away, and the next one, and the next one. With SVOD, the user can pick up right where they left off. Regardless of the hours or days that went by between viewing sessions, with just one click of a button, the viewer can resume from the exact point they were watching at a previous point in time.
There’s a streaming platform available for each niche, with even documentaries having their own binge-watching culture. That resulted in Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks launching CuriosityStream, which brings factual programming and documentaries to online TV. It offers over 1,800 titles exploring, history, nature, science, technology, and more. Its content is streamed to over 196 countries.
There’s more that differentiates SVOD from traditional TV than the viewing experience. Screenwriters say that the writing process is entirely different. They don’t have to concern themselves with building suspense prior to commercial breaks. Instead, the only cliffhanger they need to focus on is at the end of the episode, designed to encourage the viewer to watch the next one.
When viewers become familiar with the characters on an emotional level, they become hooked, and it’s this addition that creates a buzz around brands following a one-day series release. It immerses the viewer into the world as they want the merchandise and all the news on the latest exhibitions and events, as well as on the show itself.
With this new style of writing comes a new way of releasing. There’s more leeway with regards to new content being released on SVOD platforms. While a streaming’s service has a schedule of new releases, it can also release content based on trending topics.