I haven’t talked about it much on the blog, but I’m a big fan of Netflix and its streaming services. When the capability to stream content to the Xbox 360 first debuted I bit the bullet and decided to give Netflix a try. It was nice getting DVDs in the mail but the instant gratification of being able to watch a movie or TV show is what sold the service for me.
Needless to say I’ve been pretty happy to see how Netflix’s streaming options have increased. Now I can stream Netflix on just about every device in my house. Things like my netbook, iPhone/iPod, PS3, and Xbox are all able to let me watch whatever I want when I want. Netflix on the iPhone has saved my sanity on more than one occasion. Recently I’ve been watching the entire run of Scrubs via the streaming service. I really have missed that show, but that’s a topic for another time.
Streaming has become the main source of revenue for Netflix and they even instituted a streaming only plan for $7.99 a month. In fact, that’s the plan I’m on right now since most of what I would watch is available streaming or on one of the channels I have on cable already. Eventually I might cut the cord on my cable subscription, but I’m too much of an HD snob to do so right now. There are a lot of HD selections on Netflix to stream but not everything is HD yet. Bear in mind I truly am an HD snob. I won’t watch shows on TV unless they are available on one of my HD channels. There are of course a few notable exceptions.
Rumors were flying around the web last week that Netflix was bidding against cable content providers like HBO to secure the rights to a new TV show entitled House of Cards. To be honest I didn’t think Netflix stood much of a chance going up against heavyweights like HBO. But, I was wrong Netflix has secured the exclusive right to air (in this case stream might be the better word) the David Fincher developed series starring Kevin Spacey. Netflix has committed to 2 13 episode seasons of the new show and it will be made available to all 20 million Netflix subscribers.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer gave some more information regarding the purchase of House of Cards on Netflix’s Blog:
We’re delighted to tell you that in late 2012 Netflix will be bringing to our members in the U.S. and Canada exclusively “House of Cards,” the much-anticipated television series and political thriller from Executive Producer David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey. We’ve committed to at least 26 episodes of the serialized drama, which is based on a BBC mini-series from the 1990s that’s been a favorite of Netflix members. Originally written as a novel by former UK Conservative Party Chief of Staff Michael Dobbs, “House of Cards,” explores the ruthless underside of British politics at the end of the Thatcher era. Reset against the backdrop of modern-day U.S. electoral politics, this new one-hour drama follows Spacey as an ambitious politician with his eye on the top job. Fincher, the Oscar-nominated director of “The Social Network” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” will direct the pilot written by Beau Willimon (“Farragut North” and the upcoming George Clooney-directed “The Ides of March.” )
I think this has the potential to reshape the landscape when it comes to TV shows. This might be the next step for Netflix to put a bigger hurt on the cable industry. In the past Netflix has provided content that has already been seen on broadcast TV. Now, the only way to see this new show is stream it via one of the multiple devices that support Netflix. I am very curious to see what other shows Netflix will try to gain the rights to, and to see how much this hurts the cable industry.