Networks Releasing Episodes Online Prior to Premiere

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VOD & SVOD had a landmark year, and millennials are developing different expectations for how they find and enjoy entertainment content. Interested in how they find out about TV and where they are most likely to watch it, I recently worked on a research project trying to determine the effectiveness of sampling episodes digitally prior to linear premiere with P18-34.

We found in research that consumers are pickier than ever about what they watch. Most say they will only watch show if they are confident they are going to like it. People who use Netflix and watch episodes on network websites say that they are more likely to try out new shows and a large percentage of P18-34 discover shows online that they then watch on linear TV.

The networks seem to be responding to these facts. They are increasingly putting episodes online for free prior to the premiere. Here’s a list of some of the case studies we chose:

Comedy Central: Broad City (released pilot on network site, Hulu)

Fox: The Mindy Project, New Girl, Ben and Kate (released pilots on network site, Hulu, Yahoo, Amazon, XBOX)

ABC: The Goldbergs, Trophy Wife (released pilot on network Site)

HBO: Girls (released first 2 episodes of second season on YouTube)

TBS: Ground Floor (released the pilot on network site)

TNT: Mob City (released the script to the first episode on Twitter)

Adult Swim: Rick and Morty (released the pilot episode on network site, YouTube)

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