“PLEASE STOP ADDING INCOMPLETE SEASONS NETFLIX!” was the cry in 2016 from one irate Reddit user. The post, now archived and the original poster’s name deleted, highlights a problem that still exists in 2018: incomplete seasons.
If you’ve spent much time on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or Netflix, there’s a very good chance you’ve run into this problem at least once. For my part, I’ve encountered it several times. Take the 90s TV show Sliders, for example. You will find a patchwork of episodes from only 3 of the 5 seasons on Hulu, effectively making the show unwatchable. At one time, Netflix had all seasons and every episode, but that’s no longer the case.
Chopping Up Seasons
In most cases, the issue of incomplete seasons has to do with content licensing agreements. Oddly, some copyright holders choose to dole out licensing agreements to parts of a series. At times, that even includes per-episode. Other times, it’s simply a matter of the streaming service delaying the releases.
When Netflix released the first 13 episodes of the anime Little Witch Academia, fans were outraged that the company chose not to release the entire show. “As a consumer who has slowly been importing the Blu-rays to watch and trying to support the show legally this is very frustrating,” wrote one user on Reddit.
Thankfully, this problem isn’t extremely widespread for the most popular TV shows and series. Still, it’s a far more common issue for those relying on free, ad-supported services like Crackle and Yahoo View. However, the implications are still obvious. People are far more likely to stream a show illegally if it’s complete season is unavailable to them.
Nevertheless, the problem is still there, and it may not be going away anytime soon.
Sam Cook is a full-time content strategist by day, a part-time freelance content writer since 2015. In another life, he was a high school English teacher for nearly a decade. Based in sunny New Orleans, he writes long-form educational content on technology, including Insurtech, Fintech, HRtech, and content streaming. He loves whittling down complex ideas within these areas that make decisions easier for buyers. When he’s not reading books with his son Miles and playing video games with the family, you can find him immersed in his growing collection of Euro-style board games.