Hulu Out, Neflix In: A look at the possible benefits and definite flaws of CW’s changes to episode access
According to reports announced Monday, CW has ended their arrangement with Hulu where during the season the last five episodes of the network’s current shows streamed there. That means starting this fall none of Greg Berlanti’s DC shows (Supergirl moved to the network from CBS as part of their renewal) or fan favorites like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Supernatural will be available on Hulu. Instead, CW has signed a new deal with Netflix where, two weeks after a show’s finale, the complete season will stream with them. [UPDATE 7/5: Latest reports say eight days.]
For Netflix you can see the appeal of this deal. Not only does an all-at-once release fit with their binge-watching model, where subscribers have access to every episode of a show from the start, but it’s at a much earlier date than usual. It’s also an appealing set-up for viewers who like to hear how a show plays out critically, before investing all their time in it.
But for viewers who don’t have Netflix, or prefer keeping up with shows in real-time, the change may feel less positive.