Look out, Hollywood, because there is a new kid in town who wants a piece of the action and the new kid is Netflix. The king of streaming video is now looking to produce its very own 26 episode series called House of Cards. The miniseries will feature Kevin Spacey, who has won an Academy Award and David Fincher, who starred in Social Network. It’s based on a popular British miniseries that was very successful.
Rumored to have cost the company a cool $100M, Netflix bidding was against the likes of AMC and HBO, and the company seems to want to make a statement to Hollywood and the television industry. If the miniseries is successful, Netflix could have leverage when dealing with movie studios and television networks who have been reluctant to see the Internet as a viable medium.
Netflix is challenging the way content will be distributed and is thinking outside the box. By financially backing the creation of its own miniseries it can control both content and distribution at what will be at a lower cost. This is not going to make some folks in the entertainment industry happy, and there may be an attempt to block Netflix from future endeavors on its turf.
Traditionally, Netflix distributes older content on its streaming model, refusing to pay the high premiums demanded by other companies. By doing this, Netflix has been able to attract some 20 million subscribers. Though companies like HBO have some 28 million subscribers, Netflix has something that few others have. It poses a phenomenal growth rate of 63% from the 4th quarter of 2009 until the 4th quarter of 2010, while the others have remained relatively stagnant during the same period.
But Netflix is not the only one on the Internet trying to get into the streaming content business. Recently Amazon announced that it would open a library of some 5,000 movies for its Prime Members. Prime Members pay $79.00 a year to have free second day shipping on items purchased from Amazon. The addition of free movies is a great bonus.
But will this be enough for Netflix to grab more subscribers? Would this be enough to make you join Netflix?