The company that made binge viewing fashionable is raising the stakes as it makes inroads into the traditional TV model. The New York Times reports that Netflix, which rolled out the superhero series “Daredevil” earlier this month, is “betting its future on exclusive programming.”
“’Daredevil’ is the 17th Netflix original series to make its debut this year, representing a bold bet by the company to significantly increase its investment in exclusive programming,” the story reports. “Just three years after Netflix started streaming its first original series, ‘Lilyhammer,’ the company is planning 320 hours of original programming in 2015. That is about three times what it offered last year.”
One big question for the future: with more and more original programming, will people be inclined to watch less ad-supported TV? After all, besides movies, Netflix has been mostly built on reruns of ad-supported TV shows that it shows stripped of commercials.
Says the Times: “The fear is that advertisers will start cutting their spending on television, which captures about $70 billion in the United States each year, and shift to digital outlets. That has led to questions about whether television networks would reduce the amount of programming they sell to Netflix.
“Mr. Hastings said that he does not view Netflix as a threat to ad spending because the service is commercial free. If the television networks stop selling shows [to Netflix], he said, the company has a game plan. ‘We just do more originals,’ he said.”
The unanswered question is whether Netflix would be as viable an alternative without the popular network reruns.
Please click on the link near the top of this story to read the full report in The New York Times.