Spanish series have always been criticized for shooting very long chaptersthat are longer than an hour. The reason is simple: so that networks can run more ads.
On the other hand, American TV shows are usually around 45 minutes long.half in short format sitcoms, cartoons, etc.
There are no ads on streaming platforms (yet), but lately we have begun to see episodes with chapters over an hour long.
The most obvious case is the 4th season of Stranger Things. 8 out of 9 episodes of the season are over 75 minutes long. The last two volumes of 2, which has not yet been published, will be extended 85… and 139 minutes! Two hours and 20 minutes!
But this is not the only case. As our colleague Elena Neira, who researched this topic in Business Insider, explained, series from different platforms such as Inventing Anna, The Bobba Fet Book, Pachinko, The Gilded Age, or The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, they have some chapters that are over an hour long.
This new strategy goes against what has always been the philosophy of streaming, which is adapting to the pace of modern life and the ever-decreasing attention of young people: rapid consumption of chapters and series.
Old TV seasons aired 22 chapters, but streaming usually has 10 or 12 episodes, and a lot of shows have barely 6 chapters, like in the case of Obi-Wan, for example.
Why is the new trend lengthening chapters? There are several reasons, according to Business Insider.
First, this longer chapters improve engagement users. They spend more time using the platform and it gives them the feeling that they are making better use of the commission.
Also reduces hard drinking, a series binge that some users get by watching a few chapters a day or watching a few episodes a week. With longer chapters, it takes longer to watch shows, so there’s always something left to keep paying for a subscription.
Another important reason is new way to measure audience in live streaming that uses official statistical media such as Nielsen: for watching hours.
are now calculated millions of hours watched to measure the popularity of a series:
If the series has longer chapters, it will be easier for you to climb up the rankings. For example, Season 1 of Stranger Things is 450 minutes long, while Season 4, which contains only one chapter, is 831 minutes long, almost twice as long. Although the same chapters are watched, Season 4 seems to have double the audience when counting the number of hours watched.
At the other end of the Man vs. Bee spectrum, the new series is Mr. Bean. same chapters as Stranger Things 4 but last… 10 minutes. The whole season is only 90 minutes, almost 10 times less.
Despite this, it managed to enter the top ten most watched series in the world with 18 million hours, which is about 6 times less than Stranger Things 4. But if you count full chapters or seasons, both will be on the same level. .
Finally, the third reason advertising, which will hit Netflix at the end of the year for a lower price. The platform wants to air 4 or 5 minutes of ads per broadcast hour, so with one-hour episodes, it can air yes or yes ads.
But this “stretching” of episodes also has its risks. Long chapters make many people lazy to watch them, they get distracted and switch to something else, or they just don’t have enough time soon at dinner or before bed.
Let’s see how long this trend lasts and whether it becomes widespread.
Source: Computer Hoy