Why Do Streaming Services Hate End Credits?

Netflix and Hulu seem more concerned with moving onto new content

The back of a person's head watching Netflix
Do you skip the end credits when streaming or do you watch them?
Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay

Have you ever watched a movie on Netflix or Hulu and found yourself curious about some small detail about the film, one of the locations where it was filmed, perhaps, or a particular song on the soundtrack? If so, you’ve probably had to act quickly before the streaming service skipped ahead to something else. The default behavior for most streaming services treats end credits like an afterthought, which can pose a problem when a film airing on one has a post-credits scene.

A new article by Daniel Pemberton in The Guardian ventures into the conflicted relationship that streaming services have with end credits. On the one hand, there’s the desire to be a place for cinephiles; on the other, there’s the need to cue up something else before a subscriber can change the channel. Pemberton has a valid gripe here, and the example he cites is particularly stinging:

I’m pretty sure it was the time I watched Schindler’s List on Netflix that pushed me over the edge. If ever there was a movie where the credits were an integral part of the experience this was it. However, the second after Steven Spielberg’s name came up, the screen was shrunk to the size of a postage stamp and a massive advert appeared telling you to watch something else.

Pemberton has composed music for film and television, so his gripe with streaming services is both artistic and personal. And his argument is an understandable one: as he notes, for the right film, end credits (and the music that accompanies them) can be a great time to mull over the film you’ve just seen. Removing that part of the experience is an oddly controlling one — and one at odds with a greater sense of cinema.

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