Netflix premieres a new show, House of Cards.
These days, everybody loves to hate Netflix, especially when it comes to 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.
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. But in Sweden today, we can also choose to watch television on Magine, Voddler, and Headweb. (Also, HBO just launched here.)
Television and the web is a match made in heaven. And, for a person who doesn’t own a television, I sure watch many videos. 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 a Netflix original 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 in this day and age is no small mountain to climb. Did Netflix succeed? After watching the first episode of House of Cards, I’d say that the answer to that question is “yes.”
Not because it’s that good, but because I did watch it. And because I’ll keep watching it—like I believe that many others will, too. And that’s not a tiny thing. I mean, after all, Netflix is just a website, not a television production company.
House of Cards has quality writing and great photography. With all that’s going on in American politics right now, it has relevancy.
House of Cards Will Disrupt Streaming
Why would Netflix take such a risk? Well, Netflix has heard the complaints from users craving more content.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Netflix wouldn’t mind a little less hassle from 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 themselves first, which is understandable. But unfortunately for them, their strategy is pushing platforms like Netflix to produce their content.
So, Netflix has asked itself if they can produce such content themselves to circumvent the current system. And apparently, they can.
Now, who’s the loser when Netflix can produce proprietary material? Rights owners think that 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.
“As Seen On Netflix”
If we compare the situation to the music industry, Spotify has given us a glimpse of the future of music consumption.
However, Spotify managed to fill their libraries with enough third-party content never to have to contemplate creating their music.
But Netflix had to.
And now, this door seems to be open.
“As seen on TV” might just become “As seen on Netflix.”