Netflix usually focuses on exciting series and movies. But recently the streaming platform has been trying out a new format: reality shows. The shows are not only entertaining, there is a method behind them.
If you take a look at the new Netflix releases of the past few months, you will see that Netflix goes Reality TV. The streaming platform, actually known for series and movies, is trying its hand at the reality genre – and not only successfully, but also surprisingly worth watching.
More freedom than on TV, higher quality reality shows
There is for example “Love is blind”. This is a dating show where singles are supposed to fall in love – and get engaged to each other – without being concerned about looks.
Another new reality show at Netflix is “Rhythm + Flow”, a kind of hip-hop version of “Germany is looking for the superstar”. But one of the biggest reality show successes at Netflix is “The Circle”, a strategic competition between participants for a large prize money.
In contrast to TV formats of such shows, such as Big Brother or Jungle Camp, where you feel ashamed almost all the time, Netflix reality shows are really well done. This is also due to the fact that the streaming platform has a larger budget and fewer restrictions than many TV stations.
You don’t have to build an episode around limited airtime or heavily timed commercial breaks. This allows for more interesting tension and higher quality productions.
It’s not just the viewers who see it that way. The formats also receive a lot of praise from critics. “Love is blind” was mentioned in the US magazine New Yorker as an “immediate classic between wedding reality shows”.
That’s about as much as if the FAZ feuilleton were to describe the show “Germany’s Next Top Model” as a feminism show worth seeing. Of course, all this is not just coincidence. There is a strategy behind the new reality formats at Netflix.
Netflix wants to replace all television formats
For this purpose, the portal also has its own “Unscripted” department, which takes care of the structure of the reality formats. It is managed by Brandon Riegg.
In an interview with the magazine Vulture, Riegg said about the new shows: “We are not even at the end of what we call our phase one of strategy.
Which, in turn, means that Netflix has a lot more planned in that area. But why is that? Up until now, reality shows have been a classic television format, which is actually exactly what Netflix wants to distance itself from.
The reason is quite simple. Because Netflix does not only want to be different from linear television. The streaming service wants to completely replace the classic TV. With all formats. And that includes the reality shows with their broad appeal. Riegg expressed it to Vulture: “Part of the goal is to offer something for everyone.”
To achieve this, Netflix is even experimenting with new formulas for the first time. Instead of releasing a complete season at once, as usual, the episodes of the reality shows come to the viewer drop by drop.
For example, viewers get to see four episodes once, then four again, then two – with a few weeks’ interval in between. You want to see if you can keep the viewers better with this approach.
So far, the strategy seems to work. And for all those who like reality shows, Netflix is definitely heading for golden times. But there is one notable exception: talk shows.
Although Netflix has tried to bring talk shows several times, they never convinced the audience. But the format is currently losing popularity on TV – especially among viewers under 50. But Netflix does not see this as discouragement, but rather as a challenge.
It is therefore exciting to see what the platform will be thinking about in the future. Until then you can enjoy the current reality shows.