Reed Hastings and his company Netflix want to do more than dominate the video-streaming space, instead they want to become the next HBO–in fact they want to be better than HBO. It’s more than a bold plan, and if Netflix can put the pieces together, the results would undoubtedly change the way we watch television forever.
Hastings doesn’t want Netflix to become a cable channel per-se, but rather he wants to pursue and avenue of original-content–much in the same way HBO has done for the past two decades. Netflix has reached out to a variety of writers, producers and directors in the last year. Their first original series was “Lilyhammer” debuting in January of this year.
“Arrested Development” will be resurrected in 2013 and will be exclusively streamed on the Netflix video-streaming service. Next is “House of Cards” starring Kevin Spacey, a show that has already received two full season orders and a single frame has not even been shot. The company is certainly gambling on exclusive content, and gambling big.
So how is this going to change the way we watch television? Netflix delivers all of the episodes for a season at one time, not week by week as traditional cable and television networks like to do things. Basically, the move places all of the power into the hands of the viewers, who can watch any episode anytime, anywhere and not have to wait to see the next one. The whole concept could destroy the “Event TV” audiences have grown accustomed to.
“If we do our job right, there’s always a reason to be a Netflix member on the original side in addition to the license side,” Hastings recently told reporters. Netflix will need a stream of original content hits to reach this ideal place in not only the minds of their consumers, but also Hastings.