Netflix Original Series and Their Predictive Power

Like what you see? Well now you don’t have to wait each week for a new episode of your favorite show to air. Do you hate being left with an emotional cliff hanger at the end of an episode? If you miss an episode then you no longer have to wait months before a series shows up on Netflix because Netflix is now making original series.  As we have talked about in class, we have seen a shift from Netflix predominately being used to borrow hard copies of DVD’s to online streaming. Are these original series the next step to meet viewer’s demands?

Netflix’s House of Card’s is one of these original series that has grown to be wildly popular and successful. According to a Forbes, “It’s the first major TV show to completely bypass the usual television ecosystem of networks and cable operators. It’s also the first time that a series has released an entire season (thirteen episodes) all at once, for viewers to watch at their own pace.  Finally, it’s the first time that programming has been developed with the aid of big data algorithms.” This has sparked competitors to react quickly to try to imitate this idea. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are already trying to make their way into the game.

Check out this video about the series:

What I find most interesting is that Netflix is continued using data to leverage these new ideas. “Netflix has mind-boggling access to consumer sentiment in real time” Netflix’s knew that House of Cards would be successful before they even started filming. “Netflix was able to find a Venn diagram intersection that suggested that buying the series would be a very good bet on original programming.” They are able to see which actors, directors, and genres people are most viewing and combine them to make a show that is sure to be a success. Their vast access to information gives them advantage over their competitors and others who will try to get their foot in the door with this industry.

Many more details can be read in this fascinating article of the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/business/media/for-house-of-cards-using-big-data-to-guarantee-its-popularity.html?pagewanted=all

The explosion of Netflix and online streaming has opened up a whole new battlefield for the television industry. Check out this Forbes article to see how the key players in the industry are being impacted:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsatell/2013/03/04/what-netflixs-house-of-cards-means-for-the-future-of-tv/

One problem that I see with this idea is that you can finish a season in one day. This is being referred to as “marathoning.” What’s happens next? Viewers are always going to be looking for what’s new, what’s fast, what’s cheap, and what’s accessible. How is Netflix going to respond? Will they be able to keep up with the growing demand? Will this create more jobs for opportunities for those in the television industry? Or will viewers be forced to slow down their pace? It is also important to consider how this switch will impact television networks, DVD distributors, and Hollywood? I fear that Netflix won’t be able to keep up with this growing demand. I think that there are opportunities for new forms of entertainment to enter the playing field if Netflix is unable to keep up. I also think that viewers are going to move away from paying for television access at all. I think online sharing and cloud access will ultimately hurt Netflix. Only time will tell. Comment and let me know what you think about the future of Netflix.

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7 thoughts on “Netflix Original Series and Their Predictive Power

  1. I think this format for Netflix is going to be very difficult to sustain. As one of the people pointed out in the 2nd video, it is unlikely that Netflix can continually hit home runs with its original shows. I think that, although Netflix does have a lot of data on viewer preferences, what viewers will like is still a lot more complicated than a math equation. Additionally, the formula of releasing a entire season of a show exclusively online is a format that can be easily copied. Any streaming website that is willing to cough up the money to purchase the rights for a show can easily do the same. The only question is whether companies can guess right and if they have enough additional content so people are willing to pay subscription fees. Yes, the video said that 86% of subscribers are less likely to cancel their subscriptions because of House of Cards, but if subscribers were paying the same monthly subscription fee for just this show, I think they might reconsider. This is obviously a very extreme example, but if streaming sites cannot provide more value to their customers than a single big hit show, it will be difficult for them to maintain this strategy.

    This post is very well researched and supported by videos and articles. I really like how you started your post with the trailer for House of Cards, as this was a real attention grabber and made me want to know more about the show and the IT behind it. This post also has great class relevance as it addresses Netflix’s business model as a whole, as well as where the industry is headed.

  2. This is a phenomenal article about such an important topic. I for one was a huge fan of the House of Cards Series and I really like Netflix’s attempt to shift the TV industry. In college, with all the different activities going on, I find it hard to sit down and watch shows when they are aired. For example, I have HBO at my house so I am able to access HBO GO to watch most of my television and movies on my own time. In regards to Netflix, I know many of my friends watched the show religiously. However, I don’t know many people that newly subscribed to the service in order to watch the show. It is easy to borrow a friend’s email and password in order to access their account, and I know many people did (not me though). This would have to be addressed in order for Netflix to fully realize the capabilities of their new revenue stream.

  3. I think you accurately expressed the pros and cons of a new technological service that is prevalent in many of our lives. I watch Netflix frequently and have not yet gotten into this original series yet, but I definitely plan to in the near future. The main positive effect is that viewers no longer have to wait to see the next episode. Cliffhangers, although exciting, are horrible when the next episode or season is weeks to months away. For example, I’ve seen every episode of Breaking Bad and waiting for the second half of season 5 to premiere in the summer is absolute torture. On the other hand, instant viewing takes away the thrill of watching television, planting yourself on the couch at the right time, and discussing shortly after with friends about the events just witnessed. I enjoy waiting for Game of Thrones on a weekly basis; who needs instant access to the next episode? Overall, Netflix’s system will be a success, but it will not completely eradicate the traditional viewing of a television series.

  4. It is incredible that due to all the data that Netflix has they can see what actors and genres people are watching and then make the perfect show. I remember reading an article about a month ago about how Netflix may have overbid for House of Cards but clearly as you described they knew that they were doing. With Netflix now offering their own original series I begin to wonder if premiere channels like HBO and Starz will lose subscribers. I think that Netflix ultimately will not be too negatively affected by online sharing and cloud access because I think it’s moderately priced. People will not think its worth it do go to an online sharing site when Netflix gives them good quality for such a cheap price. The things that data allow companies to do is mind-blogging and House of Cards is just the latest example of this. Phenomenal post, it tied back to class nicely and was very interesting.

  5. I love Netflix; just hopped on the Game of Thrones band-wagon, and frankly, it’s absolutely addicting. Netflix makes it more so by having all the episodes available for streaming, just like they’re about to have the new season of Arrested Development soon. But what goes hand-in-hand with instant gratification is the challenge of tearing yourself away from HBO and getting, say, your blog comments written. So while the industry might have a new sector, us working people still need to have the self-control to get OUR job done before indulging in a whole weekend of Netflix.

  6. It never occurred to me that Netflix specifically designed House of Cards after analyzing its massive amounts of user data, so I really enjoyed your discussion of this topic. I also find it funny that you mentioned “marathoning” since my roommate did just that when he watched nearly the entire season of House of Cards during the lockdown on Friday.I tend to agree with you that marathoning may prove to be a huge problem for Netflix since fans of the show will finish the season too quickly and then demand more episodes; once this happens, Netflix will be in a tough position and may resort to churning out weaker episodes just to meet the demand. I think Netflix’ greatest worry, though, should be the fact that producing an original, online-only series is an imitable idea and powerful companies like Amazon are already entering the ring.

  7. It seems you looked into the future with this one because Netflix announced increased users last night. The idea behind House of Cards is great, but don’t forget the content must be good too. I have watched the show and it appears House of Cards is a quality show. Netflix outbid HBO for the adaptation of a popular British show along the same premises. The only thing I miss with this format is that people aren’t talking about it every week like regular shows. Where is the community?

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