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Weekly Releases vs. The Whole Season at Once: A Look at Euphoria and Squid Game’s Show Release Strategies

4 min read

| March 14, 2022

Over the last 6 months, two shows have absolutely dominated online conversation: Squid Game and Euphoria. Both shows have earned in the tens of millions in Total Tweets during this time span. However, each show has followed an entirely different distribution strategy, with Squid Game following the classic Netflix approach of releasing the entire series so fans can binge all the episodes right away, and Euphoria following a more “traditional” method of releasing episodes weekly.

We decided to take a closer look at the different strategies both networks use in releasing programs, and see what benefits and drawbacks each strategy may have.

TL;DR

  • Over the last six months, Euphoria and Squid Game have dominated all other series in generating Total Tweets and Emotional Reactions

  • While the weekly release cadence of Euphoria created more plateaus in online Reactions early in the season, engagement heavily spiked towards the end of a show’s season causing it to outperform even the most viral, binge-able shows

  • Fan Passion spikes for Euphoria in the latter half of the season, helping the series maintain an engaged fanbase throughout the entire 2-month span of episode drops

Over the last six months, Euphoria and Squid Game have dominated all other series in generating Total Tweets and Emotional Reactions

In the last 6 months, all other series are currently playing for third place. Euphoria has generated well over 18M Total Tweets and 5.6M Emotional Reactions, currently standing as the number one show over the last 6 months.

Squid Game dominated the last few months of 2021, with Euphoria taking over as the most discussed show in the first quarter of 2022. The next highest performing show over that same time period was Arcane with less than half the Total Tweets of Euphoria and Squid Game.

Despite the shows’ overwhelming success, there is one primary difference between their distribution strategies: Euphoria is released on a weekly cadence, while Squid Game follows the standard Netflix distribution strategy of releasing the entire season at the same time.

While both strategies have their strengths and weaknesses, below we will take a closer look at the effect each distribution strategy has on the shows’ social engagement, and which allows for more fan passion and participation in online conversation.

While the weekly release cadence of Euphoria created more plateaus in online Reactions early in the season, engagement heavily spiked towards the end of a show’s season causing it to outperform even the most viral, binge-able shows

Looking below at an aggregating graph of Total Tweets for Euphoria and Squid Game, you will notice two separate and distinct trends between the two programs following their initial launches. For the sake of this study, consider Day 1 in the chart below to represent the day Squid Game dropped on Netflix, and the release day of Season 2 of Euphoria.

Let’s start with Squid Game. Following the show’s launch, a clear and steady exponential increase in Total Tweets can be observed that continues to consistently increase through the first few weeks of the show being live on Netflix. Eventually, this growth begins to level out and we observe a plateau of engagement after the first month. For example, the show was able to generate over 10M Total Tweets within the first month live on Netflix, but only around 2.5M Total Tweets in the second month.

Euphoria is an entirely different story. Looking at its line within the chart below, we can see small bursts of increased Total Tweets weekly, followed by shorter plateaus. This is caused by the weekly releases of the episodes, where fans are more likely to engage the night the show premieres rather than mid-week. Over the first six episodes of Euphoria, the show trends below Squid Game. However, by the last two episodes of the program, we see the two largest spikes of Total Tweets over the entire season, catapulting the show above Squid Game in Total Tweets.

Most telling from this side-by-side view is seeing how conversation grows as the Euphoria season continues, with fans engaging more and more as Season 2 unfolds. Conversely, Squid Game has a large spike during the first month of the show being live, but eventually plateaus as the show’s virality begins to slip.

Fan Passion spikes for Euphoria in the latter half of the season, helping the series maintain an engaged fanbase throughout the entire 2-month span of episode drops

A similar trend can be observed when looking at Canvs’ Reaction Rate over the first 2 months for Euphoria and Squid Game. While fan passion remained high after one month of Squid Game live on Netflix, it was overtaken by Euphoria as the show’s most popular episodes were released in the final weeks of the season.

This tells us that while Squid Game was able to slightly outperform Euphoria in driving a passionate fan base over the first month, fan passion reached its peak for Euphoria at the end of the season, allowing the show to maintain a more engaged and passionate fan base over the entirety of the first two months following the season premiere.

Notably, Squid Game’s Reaction Rate appears to fall over the last week or so as conversation about the show starts to plateau, as it did during the first month of the show being live. Following the conclusion of Season 2 of Euphoria, there is a slight dip in fan passion observed, however, not nearly as extreme as Squid Game’s decrease in Reaction Rate.

Who will win out in the long run?

While it is true that Euphoria was able to outperform Squid Game over the last six months, there are other factors to consider when discussing longer-term social conversation. As Euphoria is still generating extremely high levels of engagement only a couple of weeks after the Season 2 finale, will it be able to keep up the same levels of engagement Squid Game has been able to, long after the series was released on Netflix?

Only time will tell who wins out over a longer time span, but for the moment being, Euphoria has been able to capture higher levels of conversation and maintain a more passionate fanbase following both series’ launches.

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