Refocusing Netflix on TV Shows

Wouldn’t it be interesting if Netflix’s future revolved heavily around bringing people unique exclusive TV shows. This has already begun with shows like Lily Hammer, and surely many more exclusive deals will follow.

The cable companies won’t fare well with the ever increasing popularity of Netflix. As more people cancel their expensive cable subscriptions and move to the a la carte model, there will be more eyeballs available to watch that exclusive Netflix content. Whilst my own content needs differ from everyone, to wit I don’t care about sports or cooking shows, I can get away with cable. Although I now live with a lighter wallet, no commercials, and less substandard programming, I did give up some important benefits — things like being able to watch a few of my favourite shows as they air. I was willing to make this sacrifice and just wait for stuff to land on Netflix or iTunes. On the whole, this strategy has been fairly successful.

TV show content on Netflix is growing at a fast rate. This is only a good thing for those shedding their ties to cable. Whilst I love watching movies, I would say I spend more time watching either old TV shows or new ones available right now. The movie industry has a fantastic opportunity right now to do something bold, something out of their comfort zone. It would be wise to jump onboard the Netflix bandwagon today. Studios need to start funding new projects that are made for web only. The industry is changing at a rate that will destroy old business models if the studios don’t identify and adapt.

It’s clear that Netflix is the incumbent. It didn’t take long for them to erode the video rental business — just look at what happened to Blockbuster. Now Netflix is in a great position as they find themselves expanding their service into new countries. The web is an excellent place to discover lots of great indie film content right now. One only need look at YouTube as an example. YouTube did to the independent film maker what the Internet did for the independent writer. This is a massive shift towards self-published or relatively small staff production endeavours. Of course there are examples of not indie related productions such as Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible musical — which has quite the notoriety. Imagine if Joss Whedon didn’t have to self-fund the Dr. Horrible production, but instead had the financial backing of a studio to debut it exclusively on Netflix. There are more untold possibilities that lie ahead of us as well. How about resurrecting cancelled TV shows as Netflix continent? I’m sure there are plenty who would love to see new episodes of FireFly, yours truly included.

I posit that Netflix and the studios have huge potentials to benefit from exclusive TV show and movie content deals. The studios would get paid, whilst Netflix grabs a huge flock of new customers abandoning their cable subscriptions. Now if the studios could simply wake up and smell the coffee, we could be in such a better state than we are now.