- Video-on-demand services are more likely to cancel TV shows after two or three seasons compared to cable and broadcast networks, according to an Ampere Analysis report on Tuesday.
- Netflix accounts for over half of video-on-demand cancellations, and 12 of its 13 canceled shows since September were for series with three seasons or fewer.
- Deadline reported last month that Netflix prefers shows that last 30 episodes total. After that, they can become too expensive and harder for new viewers to jump into.
Many Netflix shows are short lived. With the exception of some of its earliest series, such as “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black,” Netflix has a tendency to cancel shows after two or three seasons.
Ampere Analysis tracked 61 canceled TV shows between September 2018 and March across streaming and traditional TV. The report, released on Tuesday, found that streaming services are more likely to cancel a show early on. Original streaming shows have an average lifespan of two seasons, compared to four seasons on cable and six-and-a-half seasons on broadcast networks.
Netflix accounts for 68% of video-on-demand cancellations, and 12 of its 13 canceled shows since September were for series with three seasons or fewer, according to Ampere.
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“The VoD services seem determined to drive subscriber growth through a continuous pipeline of new content, but this comes at the cost of missing out on long-running franchises like NBC’s ‘Law & Order’ that keep customers coming back year after year, reducing churn,” Fred Black, an Ampere analyst, said in the report.
It’s worth noting that Netflix shows are ordered straight to series, and the streamer drops entire seasons at once. On traditional TV networks, a pilot is typically ordered first, and many shows don’t even make it past the pilot phase.
Netflix’s recent cancellations include “One Day at a Time” and its Marvel TV shows, such as “Daredevil” and “The Punisher.” Netflix canceled “One Day at a Time” last month after three seasons, saying “not enough people watched to justify another season.” It canceled its remaining Marvel shows, “The Punisher” and “Jessica Jones,” in February.
Deadline reported last month that Netflix sees little value in long-lasting shows, and prefers ones that run 10 episodes a season and 30 episodes total. After that, they often become too expensive to continue to invest in, unless they are a breakout hit that Netflix owns like “Stranger Things.” And the shorter the season, the easier it is for new viewers to jump into a show for the first time.
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