2012 is the year Netflix becomes more than just a company which stream other people’s content. Instead, it has become a content producer itself, with multiple original series on its books.
Netflix As Producer
Netflix has done well to this point as first a DVD-by-mail company and then a video streaming company. But it wants more. Partly as a way of encouraging new subscribers to sign up, partly as a way of adding content to its line-up without having to pay exorbitant fees.
Netflix has several original series in the offing, including House Of Cards starring Kevin Spacey and new episodes of the network-canceled Arrested Development. But first up is Lilyhammer, which now has a release date.
Lilyhammer is an original series starring E-Street Band member and former The Sopranos actor Steven Van Zandt as Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano. The character moves to Lillehammer, Norway to start a new life, but I suspect things don’t go entirely to plan.
The first series will consist of eight one-hour episodes. All of which will be made available on the same day, Feb. 6, 2012. Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said:
“It’s a very quirky, funny, serious show that I think people are really going to love. It’s a really fun thing to watch, because it is a really familiar character in a totally unfamiliar place. It’s [like] ‘Northern Exposure’ meets ‘Sopranos.’”
“We’re proud to introduce this terrific original series exclusively to our members. If you love the first episode, there is no need to wait until next week, or to set a DVR, to catch the next one.”
This is an interesting move. Networks can build interest in a show by drip-feeding episodes to the audience, while Netflix is making them all available at once and letting the audience decide whether they are interested enough to watch beyond episode one.
2012 is an important year for Netflix. If it gets things right it could hold firm in the U.S. while growing elsewhere, get it wrong and everything could blow up in its face. The introduction of original programming is an intriguing turn of events that could become a core part of Netflix’ business.
[Via The Wrap]
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