Those words from a popular speech from Kevin Spacey we posted recently are in the same spirit as this interview with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. The latter contends that the current practice of scheduling TV shows into weekly time slots will one day seem as antiquated as forcing readers to wait a month between each chapter of a novel:
Two hundred years ago, a lot of fiction was written for magazines. It was a serialized format for novels. And then book manufacturing got cheap enough where you could make a book and sell it at a reasonable cost. And then people got control of all 13 chapters; they could read on their own schedule, and that greatly outcompeted the serialized release model of the then-historic magazines.
And I think we’ll see the same thing [with television], which is: More and more, consumers want control. They want freedom. Occasionally they binge, and that makes a great story, but most of the time it’s just a single episode like you read the chapter of a book. And we’ll see chapters that are variable length. Like TV shows, instead of having 22 minutes for every episode, you can go with 30 minutes and 16, depending on the natural rhythms of the story.