Netflix Transitioning To Television

    February 28, 2012
    Lee Hester
    Comments are off for this post.

More than half of all Netflix viewing is now television. The company known best for featuring feature films is becoming an Internet streaming service for television shows. For over a year, Netflix has been bulking up on old TV shows in an effort to challenge HBO. Home Box Office had been threatening Netflix lately with the success of streaming their own original shows. Netflix’s Chief Executive, Reed Hastings said the company would try a couple of dozen original shows instead of reruns, shadowing the HBO model.

Thanks to the shift in focus and strategy to Television, the company has been able to retain about 21.7 million streaming subscribers in the U.S. That’s roughly one in four households with broadband. For Netflix, the transition to television has been very successful over the past year, especially with the recent loss of movie titles from Starz. The new release movies provided by Starz, account for only two percent of all viewing on Netflix. The company has spent a large amount of its budget on new streaming titles that subscribers have requested.

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Many of the new titles are full seasons of TV series including “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad” and “Lost.” The move to TV reruns was caused by the tightening up of titles from the major movie studios. The movie moguls fear the power and popularity of Netflix and in an attempt to slow its growth, have raised prices for films and shows. “The company is being forced into offering more (older) TV content because it’s cheaper,” said Managing Director, Youssef H. Squali.

“The conversation in the media world is, the content’s terrible, yet the average subscriber is devouring over an hour a day, every single day. Obviously they don’t think it’s horrible,” adds analyst Richard Greenfield. Netflix won’t say what proportion of their total viewing is made up from TV episodes but its executives put the number at fifty to sixty percent last fall. Mr. Greenfield suspects the number to be closer to eighty percent according to a recent New York Times article. Either way, its a pretty big win for Television and viewers.

  • moviesrus

    The reason Netflix customers are consuming over an hour of content a day is not because they love the shows that are on there but because they want to be entertained and will watch shows if they can’t find the movies they want. I used to have Netflix’s streaming service and loved it other than the fact that they never had any of the movies I wanted. I was fed up after about a week and cancelled. Thankfully my employer, DISH, came out with Blockbuster @Home so I added it to my DISH services. I have kept it ever since because it actually has movies I want to watch. I can’t fathom why anyone would keep Netflix particularly now, when they’re about to lose all of the good stuff.

  • Anne

    Netflix is great! I got rid of HBO, Starz, Cinemax, Showtime, and have NOT missed it one bit. Next step is getting rid of cable, period, and am buying an antenna.

    Baloney on the cable/satellite.