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Netflix To Enter Original Programming

Netflix To Enter Original Programming With Mega Deal For David Fincher-Kevin Spacey Series ‘House Of Cards’

In yet another sign that modern distributors don’t feel like waiting around for the legacy industry (with the good content) any more. In a move that presages what could happen more widely, particularly if Apple and Google started into production.

There’s zero reason why any of the new content aggregators or distributors couldn’t go to the exact same producers and production companies that produce for the network and cable outlets, for exclusive content for their distribution.

EXCLUSIVE: Video streaming juggernaut Netflix is becoming an original programming player. In what is probably the biggest gamble in its 14-year history, I hear Netflix has outbid several major cable networks, including HBO and AMC, for  Media Rights Capital’s drama series House of Cards, executive produced and directed by David Fincher and exec produced by and starring Kevin Spacey.

Negotiations are still going on, but I hear Netflix landed the drama project by offering a staggering commitment of two seasons, or 26 episodes. Given that the price tag for a high-end drama is in the $4 million-$6 million an episode range and that a launch of a big original series commands tens of millions of dollars for promotion, the deal is believed to be worth more than $100 million.




3 responses to “Netflix To Enter Original Programming”

  1. This is really interesting, and it certainly tweaks onto discussions you and Terrence have been having in your podcast for some time.

    I think iTunes present an astounding distribution opportunity for independent filmmakers to have their product in a place that makes it easy for people to purchase and watch it. iTunes independent, let’s call it. People are able to watch the content where and when they want, rent or buy, in whatever resolution they want. A ratings process similar to the appStore would push popular content to the top, and the top 20 could even be highlighted in the regular iTunes movie section.

    This is just one option, of course. YouTube, Netflix, etc, would have slightly different distribution models. Netflix being subscription would, I imagine, pay the filmmakers per viewing, and youTube I have heard is looking into movie rentals, but I’m not sure if it’s launch, so it would be hard to say how they would reimburse independent producers.

    Jumping back, I think your concerns about content review are somewhat valid. Someone has to ensure that the film received an appropriate rating, and isn’t just a rip of another movie that they don’t own. But honestly I wonder if there isn’t an agreement that producers could sign that would absolve Apple of any IP infringement. If a producer is going to be on the hook for his mistakes, he’s going to make for damn sure that he owns everything that’s in his movie.

  2. Good comments Marcus. Sparked an idea in my head as to how Apple might do a ratings system that doesn’t get too time intensive. We developed such a concept for another organization last year, but they never took us up on it.

  3. I think the REALLY attractive thing for producers would be if they got the same 70/30 split on profits that appStore developers do. This is one of the few areas where I don’t think you’d hear many complaints. I get to keep 70% of the revenue from every sale? F*** Me!!