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House Of Cards is Changing the Streaming Game

"As seen on TV" might just become "As seen on Netflix."

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer


Netflix premi­eres a new show, House of Cards.

Nowadays, every­body loves to hate Netflix, espe­cially regard­ing 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.

Here we go:

House of Cards — Not Just Another TV Show

Netflix is rel­at­ively new here in Sweden, but I got used to it when I lived in Manhattan. Today, we can also choose to watch tele­vi­sion on Magine, Voddler, and Headweb. (HBO just launched here.)

Television and the web are a match made in heav­en. And, I sure watch many videos for someone who does­n’t own a 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 yet anoth­er dis­trac­tion for many.

A New Breed of TV Shows: Originals

House of Cards is an ori­gin­al Netflix series. That means that Netflix has pro­duced their tele­vi­sion show.

So, what? I knew that already!”

Let’s think about what an ori­gin­al tele­vi­sion show means. Putting togeth­er a tele­vi­sion show is no small moun­tain to climb in this day and age. Did Netflix suc­ceed? After watch­ing the first epis­ode of House of Cards, I’d say the answer is “yes.”

Not because it’s that good, but because I did watch it. And because I’ll keep watch­ing it — I believe many oth­ers will, too — and that’s not a tiny thing. After all, Netflix is a web­site, not a tra­di­tion­al tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion company.


House of Cards has qual­ity writ­ing and great pho­to­graphy. With all that’s going on in American polit­ics, it has relevance. 

House of Cards Will Disrupt Streaming

Why would Netflix take such a risk? Netflix has heard com­plaints from users who crave more content.

It does­n’t take a geni­us to fig­ure out that Netflix would be will­ing to endure a little less hassle when try­ing to land con­tracts for new third-party productions.

Why is it so dif­fi­cult for Netflix to land con­tracts? The own­ers want to make money from the con­tent, which is under­stand­able. Unfortunately, their strategy is to push plat­forms like Netflix to pro­duce their con­tent.

Netflix has asked itself if it can pro­duce such con­tent to cir­cum­vent the cur­rent sys­tem. And appar­ently, they can.

Now, who’s the loser when Netflix can pro­duce pro­pri­et­ary mater­i­al? Rights own­ers think they can hold on to the out­dated value chain — a chain where a movie hits the cinemas then hits DVD stands and then gets shown on tele­vi­sion after years and years.

But this mod­el won’t work in the age of the internet.

Coming Soon: “As Seen On Netflix”

If we com­pare the situ­ation to that of the music industry, Spotify has giv­en us a glimpse of the future of music consumption. 

However, Spotify man­aged to fill its lib­rar­ies with enough third-party con­tent that it nev­er had to con­tem­plate cre­at­ing its own music. 

But Netflix had to.
And now, this door seems to be open.

Who knows?

As seen on TV” might become “As seen on Netflix.”

Signature - Jerry Silfwer - Doctor Spin

Thanks for read­ing. Please sup­port my blog by shar­ing art­icles with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tions and mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als. You might also con­sider my PR ser­vices or speak­ing engage­ments.

PR Resource: The Electronic Age

The Electronic Age according to Marshall McLuhan.
The Electronic Age accord­ing to Marshall McLuhan.
Spin Academy | Online PR Courses

The Electronic Age

Human cul­ture is often described based on our access to pro­duc­tion tech­no­lo­gies (e.g., the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age).

According to Marshall McLuhan and the Toronto School of Communication Theory, a bet­ter ana­lys­is would be to view soci­et­al devel­op­ment based on the prom­in­ence of emer­ging com­mu­nic­a­tions technologies.

Marshall McLuhan - Cambridge University - Digital-First
Marshall McLuhan at Cambridge University, circa 1940.

McLuhan sug­gests divid­ing human civil­isa­tion into four epochs:

  • Oral Tribe Culture. Handwriting marks the begin­ning of the end of the Oral Tribe Culture. The Oral Tribe Culture per­sists but without its former prominence.
  • Manuscript Culture. Printing marks the begin­ning of the end of the Manuscript Culture. The Manuscript Culture per­sists but without its former prominence.
  • Gutenberg Galaxy. Electricity marks the begin­ning of the end of the Gutenberg Galaxy. The Gutenberg Galaxy per­sists but without its former prominence.
  • Electronic Age. Today, we reside in the Electronic Age. Possibly, we haven’t exper­i­enced the begin­ning of this age’s decline yet.

The Gutenberg Galaxy is a land­mark book that intro­duced the concept of the glob­al vil­lage and estab­lished Marshall McLuhan as the ori­gin­al ‘media guru’, with more than 200,000 cop­ies in print.”
Source: Modern Language Review 1McLuhan, M. (1963). The Gutenberg galaxy: the mak­ing of typo­graph­ic man. Modern Language Review, 58, 542. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​2​3​0​7​/​3​7​1​9​923

As a PR pro­fes­sion­al and lin­guist, I sub­scribe to the concept of the Electronic Age. My belief is that soci­ety is unlikely to revert to the Gutenberg Galaxy.

Thus, digit­al-first is the way for pub­lic rela­tions, too.

Read also: The Electronic Age and The End of the Gutenberg Galaxy

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1 McLuhan, M. (1963). The Gutenberg galaxy: the mak­ing of typo­graph­ic man. Modern Language Review, 58, 542. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​2​3​0​7​/​3​7​1​9​923
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Cover Photo

The cover photo isn't related to public relations obviously; it's just a photo of mine. Think of it as a 'decorative diversion', a subtle reminder that it's good to have hobbies outside work.

The cover photo has



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