Sure you have read about this before and similar topics but I wanted to consolidate some of the recent articles around just how much Netflix is changing the TV industry. First they were the first Internet streaming company to receive Emmy awards for original shows and Kevin Spacey was quoted saying how television studios need to adapt or be left behind which was printed in a recent Mashable article.
Then we have the Huffington Post reporting how Netflix leverages torrent sites to determine which content to go after next and procure to add to the Netflix library leveraging the analytics on what users want to see and what is worth spending their dollars to add to their library. Netflix is banking on the fact that if it were free to stream that movie, then users would opt to stream it on Netflix than pirate it if it were available. Sure this probably applies to all Netflix users who still torrent movies and TV shows which aren’t available on Netflix, but I am not so sure if this works for the global market.
It is obvious that pay movie services like HBO has among the top torrented shows and their content will likely never come to Netflix in the near future if at all with HBO GO being a competing service tying into their paid subscription. But I do think the sequenced pattern of watching 1 episode a week is not going to be the standard going forward. People are impatient, they don’t want to tune in a week later to digest another episode and there are more shows than ever competing for the same time slot.
If you could get entire seasons of any show up front and watch at your leisure, whether 2 episodes a night or binge and do a whole season in 1 day, it is your choice and you could move on to the next one while waiting for the next season. This is how readers want to consume content, but let’s face it TV studios make money from commercials in their programming and selling ad slots. If entire seasons were to be released this way it would require advertisers to purchase entire blocks or series of advertisements in each episode ahead of time and pre-determined and cut into the final released seasons of the product.
This is of course assuming that TV networks will stay with free over the air shows in exchange for advertisers paying for content placement. The alternatives are to charge subscriptions to viewers to have access to the content, or take a revenue from Netflix to allow them to stream it. Or they could simply weave product placement into the shows themselves working with companies ahead of time in the planning and production phase.
I personally wouldn’t mind having to deal with about 1 minute of commercials for 15 minutes of video content if I could get a whole season of a show up front. I do think however studios are going to re-think how to best go about releasing content to readers and which makes a better return on investment, while House of Cards may have garnered a ton of Emmy’s did it recoup the costs involved in producing the show from the new subscribers earned? I read that House of Cards cost about $100 million for 2 seasons to produce, Netflix would have to add around 1 million subscribers and have them stay paying members for 1 year to recoup those costs and more to make a decent enough profit.
How do you like to watch your content, in weekly bits episode by episode or binge watching an entire season?