Netflix Isn't Quitting the Binge, So Relaxby
There will be no binging for the kids on Netflix’s new series, Turbo Fast. The video service is planning to release only the first five episodes of its new animated series for children later this month, based on what’s ready now. That method stands in contrast to the full-season, all-at-once strategy Netflix has adopted for its marquee shows, such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.
“We are releasing Turbo in batches simply because that’s how it will be delivered to us,” Netflix spokesman Joris Evers said today in an e-mail. “We are turning that to our advantage by releasing the batches around holidays, when kids viewing usually spikes.” The rest of the Turbo Fast episodes will be released periodically throughout 2014.
Despite the batches for Turbo Fast, don’t expect a major shift on binge viewing by Netflix, which pioneered that method and has been generally pleased with the results. The company said today that the second season of its House of Cards series will make its debut on Feb. 14—with the full 13-episode season available that day. (Co-star Robin Wright directed one of the season two episodes.) Netflix is also releasing the full second season of its Lilyhammer series on Dec. 13.
Turbo Fast is a television spinoff from DreamWorks Animation, whose summer film Turbo was considered a box office disappointment, grossing only $83 million in the U.S., according to Box Office Mojo, which tracks movie income. Worldwide, the film has brought in nearly $282 million.
Still, while fans of Representative Frank Underwood may like to gobble up an entire season of House of Cards in one sitting, kids are different animals before a television. Many will watch the five episodes of Turbo Fast a dozen times each (or more) before clamoring for new ones. “One thing to understand on kids’ shows is that kids watch differently than adults,” Evers said. “Kids rewatch episodes often and don’t necessarily follow a certain order.”
Children also represent a vital, lucrative hook to keep parents paying Netflix its monthly streaming fee, which is why Netflix placed such a large bet this summer with DreamWorks Animation for 300 hours of new television programming. The programs also stream sans advertising, a bonus for many parents.