Titans first aired on DC's in-house streaming service, DC Universe, but was far more enjoyable to watch on Netflix, where it was distributed internationally. When it comes to adapting the Teen Titans, the young superheroes are usually consigned to animated fare only, but Titans instead promised fans a far gritter take on the hormone-fueled junior Justice League, announcing its intentions with Robin's famous "f**k Batman" line in the show's first trailer. Titans was fairly well received by fans and critics, with the major drawbacks relating to how long the team take to actually get together, as well as some general debut season teething problems.
Although Titans had been in development for a while before DC Universe came into being, the series was rejigged with the new streaming service in mind and acted as its first major original series after its launch in September 2018. Titan's 11-episode debut season played out week-by-week on the new platform, running from October to December, but viewers outside of the United States had to wait until January to see Brenton Thwaites' new-look Robin dish out bloody punishment. Titans landed on Netflix worldwide in January and, unlike on DC Universe, was available all at once.
The international method of distribution greatly benefited Titans season 1, making it a far easier watch and a more entertaining experience, partly because of Titans' initially slow pace. As previously mentioned, one of the show's biggest criticisms was how long the central group took to get together and while this is certainly frustrating for viewers waiting for episodes to come around on a weekly basis, it's far less of a problem for those binge-watching on Netflix. The gang still haven't met up by the end of the episode? No problem, the next one starts in five seconds.
The same reasoning can apply to Titans' end-of-episode cliffhangers. Some of the most dramatic final scenes include the first appearance of Beast Boy, the arrival of Jason Todd's Robin and Dick rushing into a mysterious force field to rescue Rachel. These endings work in the sense that they encourage viewers to stick with the series, but they aren't strong enough to have fans discussing and dissecting the episode around the water cooler at work the next day. As before, this is less of a problem on Netflix, where cliffhangers don't need to have viewers desperately theorizing about what might happen, they just need to make them click "next."
And it isn't just the audience that benefits. Netflix currently has a far wider reach than DC Universe and is also more accessible for the casual comic book fans who wouldn't sign up to a genre-specific service. That may not be much consolation for viewers within the U.S., unfortunately, and since Titans ratings on DC Universe increased as the series progressed, the current distribution model seems unlikely to change for the time being.
Titans season 2 is set to premiere later this year on DC Universe and Netflix internationally.