Netflix Places Restrictions, Changes Bingeing for ‘Stranger Things’

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Dustin, Mike and Max at school in Stranger Things Season 4

Credit: Netflix

If you’re planning to binge some of the top shows on Netflix, including Stranger Things, a major change is coming.

Stranger Things is a highly popular science fiction-horror series that became a cultural phenomenon, and it has a special connection with Netflix, the streaming platform on which it’s hosted. The show’s success is, in many ways, representative of how Netflix has transformed the entertainment industry.

Max and Dustin looking into the Upside Down in 'Stranger Things' Season 4
Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things is set in the 1980s in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. It follows a group of kids who become entangled in supernatural events, including the disappearance of one of their friends and the appearance of a girl with psychokinetic abilities (played by Millie Bobby Brown). The show masterfully combines elements of horror, science fiction, and 80s nostalgia, making it a gripping and nostalgic experience for viewers.

The show, created by the Duffer Brothers, has successfully found a way to keep its cast together, which includes names like  Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley (introduced in Season 3), Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair (introduced in Season 2). One of the reasons for that is because of Netflix’s involvement.

Netflix’s involvement in Stranger Things marks a shift in the way we consume entertainment. The platform, launched in 2007 as a DVD rental service, has evolved into one of the world’s leading streaming platforms. It’s known for its original content, and Stranger Things is one of its flagship series. Netflix’s strategy to release entire seasons at once, allowing for binge-watching, has redefined the way we engage with TV shows.

Stranger Things Mike Wheeler and Eleven dating
Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things became a significant part of pop culture, and its availability on Netflix played a pivotal role. The streaming giant invested in original content to differentiate itself from competitors and attract subscribers. Stranger Things‘s success showcased the potential of this strategy. The show’s ability to generate hype and keep viewers engaged, coupled with Netflix’s wide reach, was a game-changer. In addition, the show benefited from Netflix’s global presence.

However, the streaming platform has announced multiple changes– and other reported changes that are on the way– that could make it restrictive to watch some of your favorite shows. Netflix just recently cracked down on password sharing, no longer allowing passwords to be shared unless accounts were upgraded, and the streaming platform is reportedly prepared to increase prices once the SAG-AFTRA strikes in Hollywood come to an end.

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams
Credit: Netflix

As password restrictions are put in place and more plans are formulated for increased prices, another major change for bingeing could soon be coming. According to reports from The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix is also set to introduce a new ad format that will affect the way you binge your favorite TV shows, led by its most popular show, Stranger Things.

“If you’re watching two or three episodes in a row — which we’ve all done — we say, ‘Hey, let’s serve this next episode commercial-free, made possible by a brand.’ Then we serve your heroic, epic, 30- to 60-second spot, your cinematic spot,” Netflix VP of global advertising sales Peter Naylor said. “At a time when more than 80 percent of our ad-supported members watch for two hours or more, this product will reward viewers and allow your brands to stand out.”

The streaming platform is also set to have certain companies sponsor certain shows– which you know Stranger Things will be a part of– as a way to garner more ad revenue. For example, Frito Lay’s Smartfood is set to be the title sponsor for the upcoming season of Love Is Blind.

“We know that brands want to align with specific shows that are contextually and culturally relevant to their marketing objectives,” Naylor said. 

Millie Bobby Brown and FInn Wolfhard in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

This is interesting news for those who love to binge their favorite shows on Netflix. When this new system is implemented, you’ll be able to watch a couple of episodes and then get the next one ad-free. This is a major step in supporting the user experience, and even as some restrictions are being imposed, it’s clear the company is trying to improve user experience as best as it possibly can.

What do you think of the latest developments for Netflix? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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