Friday, March 18, 2011

Retweet: Netflix inks its first original content deal

The Chief Content Officer at Netflix, Ted Sarandos, talks to Peter Kafka of the WSJ about their new original program deal, the yet to be produced "House of Cards", with Kevin Spacey.

This is the first time Netflix has signed up to distribute an original series so obviously this is a big deal.

The Money Quote

Concerning how much Netflix is going to shell out to get the show: "No comment. But I will say this: If the show proves very popular, it won’t be any more expensive than licensing a popular show off of a network. So economically, it’s not a seismic shift, if it’s popular. If it isn’t, then we’ll have paid more for an unpopular show than we normally would have."

I definitely smiled when I read that because this was what I was thinking, as well.

If Netflix is going to get squeezed by the networks and Internet service providers, who also happen to be cable companies, then they are making a competitor out of a company that could be a partner. In this situation Netflix really has nothing to lose by getting into original programming. John Gruber of Daring Fireball immediately thought of Apple, wouldn't this work for them, too? I tend to doubt it, because for all the bitching and moaning you hear from the studios and record companies, in the end Apple still makes money for them so usually Apple reaches some sort of accommodation with the other party.

No matter how much kicking and screaming the big producers and distributors do it remains true that consumers want their television (and movie and music) content everywhere, not just where the traditional media companies want them to have it. They can fight this all they want, but consumers will get what they want in the end.