Children of the Sun > TV

TV 2.0 (Netflix vs. Amazon vs The Old Gods)

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We're all following the development of House of Cards, yes? Netflix's foray into providing original content. The blogs are buzzing about it, subscriptions are on the rise, and there are lots of theories about the role of Netflix both in terms of providing new content and reviving old content/cancelled series.

--- Quote ---Netflix has changed the way the US rents films, putting the likes of Blockbuster out of business with its online disc rental and streaming offerings, and it now looks set to do the same for television. The company has announced that House of Cards, a new television series staring Kevin Spacey, will debut exclusively on its streaming services.

While television programmes are a long-standing element of Netflix's content, both on disc and streaming, this is the first time it has contributed to the costs of production in exchange for "first rights" to the content. The change in strategy suggests Netflix is now trying to gain new subscribers by providing content that can't be found anywhere else, and with big names like Spacey and executive producer David Fincher (director of The Social Network), it's likely to succeed.

If Netflix can then add more original programming, subscribers will start wondering whether they still need to pay an expensive cable television bill as well. That's when things get interesting, because the cable companies also provide the very internet services that Netflix requires to stream their content.

With the debate over net neutrality still raging on, could cable companies start charging more to handle Netflix's vast levels of data? A study last year found that Netflix accounts for 20 per cent of all peak-time US internet traffic - a figure that seems set to rise if the company pushes forward with original programming. Blockbuster rolled over and died when faced with Netflix's success, but the cable companies are sure to put up more of a fight.
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And they aren't pulling any punches here. This isn't a mini-series like the original 90's show... They're going all out. Season one is 26 episodes!

--- Quote ---Hi, Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer here. We’re delighted to tell you that in late 2012 Netflix will be bringing to our members in the U.S. and Canada exclusively “House of Cards,” the much-anticipated television series and political thriller from Executive Producer David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey. We’ve committed to at least 26 episodes of the serialized drama, which is based on a BBC mini-series from the 1990s that’s been a favorite of Netflix members. Originally written as a novel by former UK Conservative Party Chief of Staff Michael Dobbs, “House of Cards,” explores the ruthless underside of British politics at the end of the Thatcher era. Reset against the backdrop of modern-day U.S. electoral politics, this new one-hour drama follows Spacey as an ambitious politician with his eye on the top job. Fincher, the Oscar-nominated director of “The Social Network” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” will direct the pilot written by Beau Willimon (“Farragut North” and the upcoming George Clooney-directed “The Ides of March.” )

The TV shows and movies that you are able to watch instantly are licensed from movie studios, TV networks, distributors and sometimes directly from the producers of the films and TV shows. “House of Cards” is unique, as it is the first exclusive TV series to originate on Netflix. Typically, we license TV shows the season after they run on a broadcast network or cable channel and occasionally, we have episodes from a current season, as is the case with “Saturday Night Live” from NBC, “Spartacus” from Starzplay and “Wizards of Waverly Place” from Disney Channel. In all of these cases, the shows are produced before we bring them to Netflix. “House of Cards” represents a slightly more risky approach; while we aren’t producing the show and don’t own it, we are agreeing to license it before it is successfully produced.

We’ve found the gripping, serialized one-hour drama, such as “Heroes,” “Lost,” “Dexter” and “Weeds,” has become a very important part of the Netflix experience and over the years, we’ve been able to add these shows from many different channels, with the notable exception of HBO. With David Fincher’s unique vision, the incredible acting skills of Oscar winner Kevin Spacey, and a great and timeless story of power, corruption and lies, we think “House of Cards” will become a big hit among Netflix members and thus, represents a manageable risk.

Our goal remains to constantly expand our selection of previous seasons of popular TV shows and we may bring more exclusive series to Netflix in the future, if an opportunity arises that has the key elements a show needs to be successful; great storytelling and great storytellers. We are really excited to be bringing you “House of Cards” and will keep you informed about the premiere date closer to that time.
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Netflix is taking over the world.

Are the reasons for my recent trails and tribulations coming in to focus?

I still think the internet's a passing fad.

That damned noisy horseless carriage too.

Well, with the revolution still pending, the big news this week is the massive rate increase. If you want to keep receiving physical DVD's, Netflix doubled their rates.

However...if you go to streaming ony (or just physical DVD only), then the rate is $8 for each.

The subscribers have freaked the fuck out... Check out the Netflix FB page for a good time. I think they got something like 30,000 angry posts within a 12 hour period or something.

The backlash across the board is violent and crazy.

Here's the thing, though... My physical queue has six movies on it, and I'm forcing it at this point simply because I think it would be a waste of money to have an empty queue. I'm going to work out the last of the queue and then switch to streaming only.

If something isn't available for streaming, I'll just pirate it... Which, really, I've been doing anyway. Waiting for discs in the mail is charmingly anachronistic these days.


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