Social TV: Between and serialized Netflix

Until now all of Netflix’s original programming has been binge-able; whole seasons released at once that fans park themselves to consume on the couch while they tweet about it. This changed with the recent release of Between, a show developed in partnership with a Canadian channel that follows the traditional one-new-episode-released-per-week formula. Episodes air on City TV in Canada then become available on Netflix several hours later.

How this affects the conversation

As expected, the biggest spike in Twitter conversation around Between so far in terms of the number of people tweeting and the subsequent reach of their tweets was the day the first episode was released, May 21st, followed by a second, smaller spike the day the second episode was released, May 28th: Between contributors Between reach exposure The most tweets, however, came the day after each episode aired:

Between tweets

And nearly all of the most retweeted tweets came from the show’s star Jennette McCurdy:

https://twitter.com/jennettemccurdy/statuses/604075387379929088

Or from Netflix’s Twitter account:

What does this tell us?

Although the overall numbers for this show are lower than around Game of Thrones or fellow Netflix original Daredevil, that’s to be expected for a small, original show without a fanbase to draw on from previous seasons (GoT) or a successful comic book universe (Daredevil, part of the Marvel Universe). It does, however, have star Jennette McCurdy’s existing fans to draw on; those who grew up watching her on iCarly or Sam and Cat are older and excited to see her take on a darker, more serious role in this sci-fi show, so it makes sense that she’s promoting her latest project to her fans and followers on Twitter, encouraging them to tune in when it’s available and even offering to tweet with her fans while they watch.

The episodes become available on Netflix at 11:30pm Eastern, which explains why more tweets around the show are made the next day; fans might be tweeting about their excitement around the latest episode the day it airs, then discussing it or live-tweeting a second viewing (or a first, if they have an early bedtime) the day after it originally airs on Canada’s City TV.

Final takeaways

The overall success of a serialized television show on Netflix vs a binge-able one remains to be seen, but they’re doing everything on the social promotion front right on Twitter, including show-specific hashtags and live-tweeting hashtags:

They could be doing a little more on other networks where their target audience has a presence: Instagram, for example. The official Netflix Instagram account has one photo referencing the show vs. much more promotion for their other original series (Marco Polo, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, etc) , but this likely has to do with the City TV partnership and the fact that City has established their own Instagram profile for the show. Netflix could still use a third-party app to do some re-gramming, however.