Netflix and Original Content
My Wednesday post on Jason Kilar and Hulu touched on the possibility that Kilar sees Hulu as a potential prime distributor, dealing directly with content creators instead of getting only content originally distributed by others.
It turns out that Netflix is thinking along the same lines — see Netflix’s Risky Bet on Original Programming, at GigaOm: “Netflix is reportedly in talks to score its first original programming, bidding against cable networks like HBO for the rights to a new project called House of Cards that would star Kevin Spacey and be directed by David Fincher.”
GigaOm is skeptical that this fits with Netflix’ core values, but notes the import:
One of the arguments cable networks and distributors like to make about the effect that Netflix — and online video in general — has on the broader TV ecosystem is that by disrupting current business models, Netflix is essentially destroying the engine through which high-quality content is created. That is, by drawing eyeballs elsewhere, Netflix and others could cripple the broadcast and cable networks’ ability to fund production of future shows. But Netflix’s bid shows that high-quality content will continue to find funding, even if it’s not through existing or traditional channels.
Atlantic econ blogger Megan McArdle comments:
This makes total sense to me–both as a strategic threat, and an actual strategy. It is obviously in the interest of Netflix, and probably in the interests of consumers, for it to be a one-stop-shop for all the content you might want to download. The way to do that is either to be so big that they can’t afford not to deal with you–or to make the content yourself.
She also discusses the move here.
Netflix image from ASurroca’s Photostream.