"OLTL" and "AMC" will only air two new episodes a week starting on May 20
In response to online viewing patterns of online soaps "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," production company Prospect Park has decided to only release two episodes of each show a week, as opposed to five.
Beginning on Monday, "AMC" will now run on Mondays and Wednesdays, and fresh episodes of "OLTL" will post Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Producers Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz announced the scheduling change on Thursday, while citing three revelations about viewing patterns that emerged from their research since the former ABC soaps launched online on April 29.
Fans have historically watched new episodes within the first 24 hours available but are instead consuming the content on demand during binge viewing sessions. And both shows are no longer sharing a large percentage of ratings. Instead, viewers are choosing one soap over the other.
During their ABC runs, viewers watched only two to three episodes on average a week, leading Prospect to conclude that five episodes a week (a total of 10, if they hope fans to remain loyal to both shows) is just too much content for viewers to keep up with.
"When it comes to online viewing, most of us are just trying to find time to watch series comprised of 13 to 22 episodes a season-so asking viewers to assign time for over 100 episodes per show is a daunting task," Frank and Kwatinetz wrote in a letter to fans.
"We need to devise a model that works for all viewers and follows how they want, and are actually watching, online. When it comes to online, as with all new technology, it's adapt or fail," their message continued. "We feel fortunate to be an online company and to have such an opportunity to adapt. Of course, we will continue to evaluate all the data that comes in and will be vigilant about revising our strategy as needed."