Netflix premieres a new show, House of Cards.
These days, everybody loves to hate Netflix. Especially when it comes to the scarce selection of movies and television shows. What difference will one new show make? Especially a pilot that’s gotten some pretty mixed reviews. Well, House of Cards will most certainly make a difference.
Not Just Another TV Show
Netflix is quite new here in Sweden, but I got used to it when I lived in Manhattan. But in Sweden today, we can also choose to watch television on Magine, Voddler, and Headweb. (Also, HBO just launched here in Sweden.)
Television and the web is a match made in heaven. And, for a person who doesn’t own a television set, I sure watch a lot of television. I should be grateful I have so much to watch; we could all spend our lifetimes discovering new Youtube content if we wanted to.
But here’s the thing: It doesn’t work like that. We’re like blood-thirsty animals who just had their first kill; we want more. So when Netflix adds another television show, it should only be a yet another distraction of many.
A New Breed of TV Shows
House of Cards is a Netflix original series. That means that Netflix has produced their own television show.
“So, what? I knew that already!”
Let’s think about about what an original television show means. Putting together a television show in this day and age is no small mountain to climb. Did Netflix succeed? After having watched the first episode of House of Cards, I’d say that the answer to that question is, “yes.”
Not because it’s that good, but because I did watch it. And because I’ll keep watching it — like I believe that many others will, too. And that’s not a small thing. I mean, after all, Netflix is just a website, not a television production company. The show has quality writing and great photography. With all that’s going on in American politics right now, it has relevancy.
House of Cards will Disrupt
Why would Netflix take such risk? Well, Netflix has heard the complaints from users literally craving more content. It doesn’t take a genius, either, to also figure out that Netflix wouldn’t mind a little less hassle from trying to land contracts for new third-party productions. Why so difficult to land contracts? Well, the owners want to make money from the content themselves first, which is understandable. But unfortunately for them, their strategy is pushing platforms like Netflix to produce their own content.
So, Netflix have asked themselves if they can produce such content themselves to circumvent the current system. And apparently, they can. Now, who’s the loser in this situation? Rights owners think that they can hold on to the outdated value chain. A chain where a movie hits the cinemas then hits dvd stands and then, after years and years, gets shown on television. But this model just won’t work in the age of the internet.
“As Seen On Netflix”
If we compare the situation to the music industry, Spotify has given us a glimpse of the future of music consumption. However, Spotify managed to fill their libraries with enough third-party content to never having to contemplate creating their own music. But Netflix sort of had to. And they did it.
“As Seen on TV” might just become “As Seen on Netflix.”
Image via Time.
What do you think about the future of online television? Let me know in the comment section.