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Netflix To Start Creating Original Content

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the let-the-streaming-wars-begin dept.

Television 169

olsmeister writes "Netflix may be known for offering some of our favorite TV and movie streams, but the company is about to step up its game and begin offering original content. Netflix has allegedly outbid a number of major cable networks for a new drama series produced by and starring Kevin Spacey called House of Cards, and may be about to close a deal at more than $100 million, according to a report on Deadline.com."

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169 comments

Tomorrow's Headline: (0)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507908)

"MPAA Sues Netflix, Claims to Own Patent on "Monetization of Serialized Entertainment Video via Broadcast Medium""

Re:Tomorrow's Headline: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35507988)

"MPAA Sues Netflix, Claims to Own Patent on "Monetization of Serialized Entertainment Video via Broadcast Medium""

Time to be a pedant. Technically, this isn't the field that the MPAA is in. Sure, the MPAA member companies have very close ties to companies and studios that produce and broadcast content over the airwaves and cable/satellite (generally only a branch or two away on the UltraMegaEvilCorp family tree), but the actual MPAA member companies themselves are not in this business.

Re:Tomorrow's Headline: (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508030)

Ok, time to be even more pedant. (:-) Most patent trolls aren't in the business of making what they have patents on. If the MPAA could get the patent on "MoSEVvBM", they would.

Re:Tomorrow's Headline: (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508130)

WOOOOOSHHHHHH

Re:Tomorrow's Headline: (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508118)

Don't tempt the devil!

Re:Tomorrow's Headline: (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508174)

Thanks for giving them the idea jerk, why don't you just sell our nuclear launch codes to Al-Quaeda while you're at it.

Re:Tomorrow's Headline: (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508842)

It's okay! They're just 1-2-3-4-5.

(1-2-3-4-5? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard of in my life! That's the kinda thing an idiot would have on his luggage!)

Re:Tomorrow's Headline: (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508866)

/me changes luggage combination.

Re:Tomorrow's Headline: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508236)

MPAA sucks, I get it. But the topic would seem to be a major change in the way content is distributed and consumed, and the ramifications of such.

I come to slashdot in my search for meaning, and end up sorting through so much fluff.

Re:Tomorrow's Headline: (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508428)

Ok, since you asked here is how I see this all going down:

This becomes juicy. People like it, Netflix does more of it. Netflix begins with no advertising but raises their rates. Then others (Hulu comes to mind) begin also doing web exclusive content. Hulu does it as ad supported, or no ads with Hulu Plus. These two begin the commercial internet "television" stuff. Others join in, and down the line what we end up with is basically your internet connection being exactly like cable now, but all of the "channels" are ala carte. Finally, they all get together and agree to swap shows. Out-of-network content (streaming content from company B through company 4) comes with ads.

Re:Tomorrow's Headline: (1)

the_hellspawn (908071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509128)

Meanwhile in a lab somewhere in a country (work with me); a scientist with the monitor on has some code flashing across his face says, "I think I have compiled Internet...2." The lead scientist get up signs his/her name to a paper. The paper is published. The news spreads through the academic tubes and eventually to slashdot. Slashbot tries it out and finds that Internet2 speeds are similar to the dial-up days and the cycle continues.

Down with the cable tyrants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35507928)

Sounds good to me! depending on the success of this, a very potent competitor to the cable TV racket could be realized.

Re:Down with the cable tyrants (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508188)

Down with cable TV tyrants, and up with cable internet tyrants!

...Wait. That can't be right.

cant believe that i took this long (1)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507932)

I can't believe that i took this long for an organization to show original content over the Internet considering there were companies in the late '90s that tried to offer an Internet based substitute for tv. Hulu needs to start offering some original content(to bad they dont have deeper pockets)

Re:cant believe that i took this long (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508034)

Given that Hulu is literally owned by a number of cable networks the chance of that is roughly zero.

I'd watch it to just spite big media. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35507934)

I want this too succeed so bad - I'd consider watching it even if it sucked.

Re:I'd watch it to just spite big media. (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508108)

By what criteria did you decide that Netflix is not big media?

Re:I'd watch it to just spite big media. (2)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508158)

That's easy! They don't make their own original content! Oh...wait.

Re:I'd watch it to just spite big media. (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508578)

Ditto. The sooner serial video transitions from broadcast/cable to standalone, the better. You'll still have somebody with big pockets funding them based on ratings, but at least we can continue to break the "timeslot" mindset where shows "win" or "lose" because of the time of day they are scheduled.

Not having shows interrupted because live events will be nice too.

Finally (0)

cpicon92 (1157705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507942)

The age of television is coming to an end. I've waited for this day for a long, long time. Now let's wait and see how long it takes Netflix to start showing ads...

Re:Finally (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508002)

If they're smart, they'll keep the ads hidden. Things like product placement, or offering to sell fans pieces of the set after production. (Yes, that's really happening. There are companies that provide movie companies dozens of identical items for filming, just so those items can be sold as having been on-screen in Movie XYZ.)

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508202)

You have to be careful about how you do this as well - otherwise, you seem like your stripping a corpse if the show is canceled. SyFy did this in spades with Battlestar Galactica, and CAPRICA - really pissing fans off in the second case as they hadn't even aired the final episodes yet, and were already auctioning stuff off. Really kicks the studio in the jimmies when you go to sell merchandise based on the series later...

Re:Finally (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508006)

I doubt they could get away with traditional ads that interrupt a show. However, it is quite likely that they would consider product placement advertising in their original programming to help offset the costs of the show's creation.

Re:Finally (1)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508256)

I would gladly watch a few ads if I could watch the shows that I wanted when I wanted to watch them. DVRs are nice, but Netflix's streaming is 100 times better. I need a break to get up and make a sandwich anyhow.

Then again, I don't mind ads so much. I buy things all the time, being informed of potential choices is not necessarily a bad thing.

Re:Finally (2)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508496)

Are you a Hulu watcher? They've got ads. You'd love it.

Re:Finally (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508078)

Sorry, but you're way off and too hopeful. Netflix will join the cable club and screw us. You much be young. Both cable and satellite TV was cheapish to start with, but more than free OTA TV. We paid more for it to avoid averts. How much is a standard TV cable bill now? $100/month for basic HD, some shitty DVR and a wad in fees and taxes?

Just you watch. Netflix will start increasing prices to cover buying crap TV shows instead of streaming the walmart bargain DVD bin. After a while they'll be losing customers over it, so they'll start creating tiers of service. See where this is going?

You're probably correct about the ads, when they start, that'll be one service canceled.

Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Classics (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507962)

I don't have a Netflix account. I never had any motivation to get a Netflix account. But if Netflix bought up the rights to produce some new episodes of old cult classics such as Firefly, Stargate (SGU does not count as part of that series), Earth 2, Rugrats, Doug, Transformers cartoons, and, hell, maybe a new good Star Trek series, then I would seriously consider subscribing to an account.

In other words Netflix, current networks are broadcasting crap, crap, and more crap. Broadcast something not-crap, and you might get a few more subscribers.

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (1)

thescreg (1854974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508014)

I was wondering how many comments it would take before someone raised the "BRING BACK FIREFLY!!!" banner.

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508598)

Agreed I'm surprised it took a whole 3 minutes.

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508054)

Earth 2? Really? Really. And not a single mention of Babylon 5? Ugh.

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508220)

B5 had an ending.

It's only the 'spin-off' shows that didn't, and good luck getting the cast back to make any of them :(

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (2)

GuruBuckaroo (833982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508332)

Babylon 5 is a completed story. Ditto Farscape. As much as I would love to see more of both, they're done. They told the story they were meant to.

Now, if you want to do something else in the same universe... Crusade, for example...

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508628)

Nooooooo......

Not Earth 2.

ARK II !!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ark_II

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (1)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508146)

Firefly has been added to netflix, Rug rats have a few seasons up. They have Stargate infinity (I know, not the same).

I have found lots to see already and they seem to be adding more content all the time. It works perfectly in Canuckistan for me. $8. a month is well worth it, especially if you have little kids. There's lots of kid stuff and I love the fact that there is no commercials and they keep track of which episodes you've watched.

They do have their fair share of stinker movies too, but I also like to support their efforts. Hopefully this will be the tv of the future.(Cause the damn satellite sure sucks)

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508170)

Adding the firefly episodes to netflix is completely different thanproducing new episodes.

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (1)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508972)

My mistake.

I thought someone just bought the rights and the online community was told that there would be no new episodes.... which does suck.

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (1)

Hikaru79 (832891) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508178)

What?! You mean, if Netflix spent a few more tens of millions of dollars just to purchase the rights to some old shows, not to mention the marginal costs associated with making them available on their platform, you might be willing to consider giving them $8 a month?!

Hold on, I've got the CEO of Netflix on the line. He's obviously very intrigued by your generous offer; I think you guys just need a contract to make this commitment official, and he'll get his top people on this right away!

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508210)

I love these types of comments: "If random company spends tons of money doing everything I want, I would consider paying them a small fee." The implication is the poster would also consider not paying for any of it. Not the most persuasive of arguments.

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508312)

He was probably just using a passive, unassuming, meek voice.

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (2)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508386)

The implication is the poster would also consider not paying for any of it. Not the most persuasive of arguments.

Well that's not true. I've already paid for most of it already. I own the boxed sets of DVD's of many of the shows I listed. My problem is that no companies are funding the development of new content that I like. So I don't pay current companies money because they don't provide anything of value to me. In other words, I am not one of their customers. The point of my post was to illustrate that there is probably some market out there for folks like me that are willing to fork over cash for the development of certain types of content (cult classics). The fact that no company is currently creating that product is the only reason I am not spending money on it.

The content that Netflix currently provides is not worth the value of a subscription to me. If Netflix starts providing content that is more valuable to me, then I would start purchasing their content. I don't think my position is as unreasonable as you seem to make it out to be. Don't let that stop you from making shit up so that you have a soap box to rant from:

The implication is the poster would also consider not paying for any of it.

The implication of your post is that you are a pissed off, bitter, lonely person. See! I can make shit up too! Yay!

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508558)

"Consider" is the word you used. Perhaps I was wrong to assume you knew what it meant.

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508268)

The biggest problem for some of the shows you mentioned is that the brain dead morons at the networks moved them unpredictably around to different time slots during a season and sometimes showed them out of order. It seems to be a repeated strategy to strangle ratings and kill a show.

With Netflix, all of that BS goes away: you can watch when you want and in the order you want.

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (2)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508322)

(SGU does not count as part of that series)

You may jest, but if I recall, the producers of SGU haven't entirely given up, and are looking for someone other than SyFy to possibly pick up the series. I think they even mentioned "alternative venues" or something like that. Really, even though it's not your fav, the way they've picked up in this last season, SGU may be a great fit for Netflix.

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (1)

pkulak (815640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508880)

The Wire, Season 6!

Re:Recommendation: Buy Up Rights to Make New Class (2)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508888)

They could buy up the rights to do something new, and then produce complete trash. Owning the rights to any of those shows doesn't guarantee the resulting new production will be worth a damn - sets, actors, crews, locations, budgets, effects - all could very easily change, and those changes aren't guaranteed to be improvements on the originals that you so fondly remember.

I'd rather they go find new, interesting stories and focus on telling them well, rather than suffer through two years of "A FIREFLY CLASS VESSEL DOES NOT LOOK LIKE THAT INSIDE, AND THAT'S NOT THE ORIGINAL KAYLEE FRYE! THEY RUINED THE SHOW! DIE NETFLIX DIE!"

"Because I don't like you, Shelley." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35507964)

Not a bad choice. Spacey plays the harried straight man better than anyone, so he could accomodate a lot of different concepts. $100 million is pretty rich though.

Categories/directories (1)

suso (153703) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507966)

What they really need to do is make it so that your instant queue can have directories or something. For a company that says they were planning on the direct stream thing all along, they sure don't have that sophisticated of a saved queue.

Re:Categories/directories (1)

sys_mast (452486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508426)

Do the profiles allow you to have separate instant queues? Or are the profiles only for physical disk queues?

Re:Categories/directories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508610)

They do, until you want to watch something on your XBox 360, for example, at which point you'll only be able to look at stuff in the instant queue of the principal profile. So even though I'm allowed two simultaneous streams (because I am on the 2 DVD plan) I can only stream from multiple instant queues via computer. My kid has an XBox 360 two, Gold Family plan, so we can both stream, but too bad so sad.

There's some not so secret, upcoming Android stuff coming from Netflix as well, I'll bet they do more stupid crap with it. For a really technical company that usually "gets it" they still do some amazingly bone-head stuff.

Re:Categories/directories (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508872)

Meh, Netflix Canada has never supported queues to begin with. While it would be nice to mark stuff that I'd like to watch to remember later, it's not that big a deal in the end.

Original Content Submission (1)

malignant_minded (884324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507970)

What would be really cool if there was an area were people could submit their own films and shorts and netflix users could rate them. Obviously they would be in the Not Rated section. I feel like I reached the end of all their streaming stuff so I wouldn't mind seeing a bunch of dumb shows people make. It wouldn't be too hard to make something like Trailer Park boys. Netflix could also make it so only valid accounts can submit content and perhaps after a period of time has passed. This way it would weed out spammers somewhat, or at least Netflix would make money off the spammers.

Re:Original Content Submission (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508238)

That would be pretty cool. If I had mod points I'd +1 insightful you instead of writing this response.

Re:Original Content Submission (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508274)

What you need is boxee. Boxee Box finally supports netflix if you don't have a media PC yet.

Re:Original Content Submission (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508352)

That's called Youtube.

Re:Original Content Submission (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508374)

You mean something like.... YouTube? Granted, YouTube isn't as organized as Netflix is for finding shows you like, but if you heard of them from word of mouth, they are easy to get to and you aren't paying a subscription fee. Win-win.

Re:Original Content Submission (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508396)

I like the idea, although I would suggest a few things:
1) Accounts to upload should cost some money (one time or annual fee) - about $500
2) Minimum play times - 10 minutes.
3) Warning pop-up which you have to click through to start the video
4) Mandatory rating after watching along with optional comments.
5) Having an unrated section so people REALLY REALLY know what they are getting into.

Re:Original Content Submission (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508710)

Could they call it Netflube?

Nice.. but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35507974)

I would rather they put effort into getting new TV shows up faster than having original content. I would much prefer watching new episodes of The Office, commercial free, than see some brand new series whose main selling point is the fact that it's netflix-exclusive.

They did it recently, with Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, where they would put the show on Netflix mere hours after it aired on Starz. It was great.

And they've tried it before (5, Informative)

orson_of_fort_worth (871181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507976)

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netflix [wikipedia.org] : "Through a division called Red Envelope Entertainment, Netflix licensed and distributed independent films such as Born into Brothels and Sherrybaby. As of late 2006, Red Envelope Entertainment also expanded into producing original content with filmmakers such as John Waters. Netflix announced plans to close Red Envelope Entertainment in 2008, in part to avoid competition with its studio partners."

Re:And they've tried it before (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508080)

Yes, and it's kind of strange that both Ars and Slashdot did not mention this. Are our memories that short?

Re:And they've tried it before (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508340)

Wait, which memories?

Re:And they've tried it before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508176)

I'd guess that the agreement between Netflix and the studios about this kind of thing is going to expire soon.

Look good on the surface? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507980)

There's a reason I don't watch TV anymore, the creativity of the medium is approaching zero. Movies are pretty well already at zero, unless you indulge in the independent cinema, which is still capable of surprising you.

Will Netflix go with risky indy thinking or will it hedge with Tried and True Copy-Cat entertainment?

Someone else let me know, 'K? I'll be outside watching for rattlesnakes along the trail.

Re:Look good on the surface? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508392)

Storytelling doesn't necessarily have "newness" as an important feature. Even our modern literary masters like Neal Stephenson and Kim Stanley Robinson don't provide much that is "new." The calendar says the age is new, the context is evolving, so... interesting and relevant might be more realistic targets.

Of course, TV and movies score really low on those, too.

Re:Look good on the surface? (3, Interesting)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508492)

Will Netflix go with risky indy thinking or will it hedge with Tried and True Copy-Cat entertainment?

Someone else let me know, 'K? I'll be outside watching for rattlesnakes along the trail.

Netflix subscribers pay their subscription no matter how much or how little they watch. This gives NF the freedom to experiment and put a ton of content up there that their subscribers are free to watch. Whether or not an individual production is a hit or a miss is irrelevant, it simply adds to the huge array of content available on Netflix, and the bigger the amount of available content the more it encourages more people to sign up.

I can see it now - trailers on TV advertising kick-ass looking movies followed by the caveat "Only available on Netflix instant download." If people start seeing enough of that then they're going to start thinking "there's something big happening on Netflix, and I'd sure like to see what it is."

Re:Look good on the surface? (2)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508824)

There's a reason I don't watch TV anymore, the creativity of the medium is approaching zero.

Seriously? When were you born? Do you have any idea what TV was like before shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, Arrested Development, etc.? Just look at the difference between Battlestar Galactica (1978) and Battlestar Galactica (2004). Hell, even House is more intelligent and creative than pretty much any doctor show of the past (at least the first couple seasons were). At one time, for a "movie actor" to appear on a TV show was the career kiss of death, and TV actors would leave hit shows for the chance to be in the movies. Nowadays, established stars are practically flocking to the small screen, and as far as I can tell it's for good reason.

Netflix: Corporate champion of net neutrality? (4, Interesting)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508010)

This move puts Netflix in even more direct competition with traditional broadcasting/media companies than ever before--as if NBC-Comcast wasn't already looking to throttle YouTube and Netflix traffic to hell and back. Real net neutrality seems like it aligns with Netflix's business model--they may become a true defender of how many people here think the internet "should" work on top of their apparent desire to be a true independent alternative to old media.

Is there a negative here that I'm not seeing? Does one of the big media companies secretly own Netflix?

Re:Netflix: Corporate champion of net neutrality? (2)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508168)

I'm betting Netflix is doing this BECAUSE the big media companies are trying to marginalize them. They seem to want Netflix and related content sites to be limited to reruns and the less profitable stuff that they no longer care about.

Re:Netflix: Corporate champion of net neutrality? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508172)

How about this? The sum total of Entertainment Value based upon Development and/or Possession of Natural Talent is being further diluted. The revolving door in Hollywood will spin faster as more young, pretty and vacuous actors enter the medium. At some point watching this media will compare unfavorably to watching a tomato rot in real time.

I have $10 that says it will have commericals (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508066)

Netflix isn't stupid. They want advertising revenue just like every other network. Why else would they do this? $100 million is a lot of money, if you are going to just "give it away" to Netflix subscribers.

My guess is that the show will have ads. If you don't want ads, you can pay extra. Never mind that you are ALREADY paying for Netflix.

Re:I have $10 that says it will have commericals (1)

chispito (1870390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508142)

Netflix isn't stupid. They want advertising revenue just like every other network. Why else would they do this? $100 million is a lot of money, if you are going to just "give it away" to Netflix subscribers.

My guess is that the show will have ads. If you don't want ads, you can pay extra. Never mind that you are ALREADY paying for Netflix.

And how much less are you paying for it than Cable?

Re:I have $10 that says it will have commericals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508154)

Last I checked, I am paying for cable too. Where is the commercial free content?

Re:I have $10 that says it will have commericals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508182)

People pay much more for Cable Television, and it's chock full of advertising too. Netflix has the startling advantage that I can watch it whenever I want rather than planning my evening around their broadcasting schedule. If you've watched any "On Demand" cable shows, you've already had to sit through ads during that stuff too.
 

I'm fine with this model. If they get enough good shows, hell, I might just cancel my cable.

Re:I have $10 that says it will have commericals (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508470)

Simply having new interesting content might itself be the advertising.

If they get one hit show that gets talked about, how much would that much talk cost? Before even considering the actual perceived difference in value, it could easily generate more air time than the same amount spent just running ads.

Of course, if they don't get a hit, it could be a huge money pit, too. For that reason it's probably safer to spend $100m on it than $5.

Re:I have $10 that says it will have commericals (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508814)

$8 per month per subscriber times 12 months in a year times 1,041,667 new subscribers equals 100 million dollars. Never mind promotional fees and product placement fees that companies could be paying them for placement in their original series; distribution deals with other outlets who pay a fee to show Netflix's new content, etc.

They have roughly 20 million subscribers [netflix.com] according to their own investor relations page. Adding a million may take time, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that they'd pull in a million new viewers with a new (original/exclusive) series if it's well done and generates a lot of good word of mouth. Especially with Netflix coming native on internet-capable televisions and devices like Boxee Box, Google TV & Apple TV.

Red Envelope Redux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508114)

Netflix had to shutter its own entertainment division, Red Envelope, a few years ago. It was just a small studio that probably never outbid a much larger one for the indie films they invested in, but they were competing with their own suppliers. It's not clear to me how this is different, although I suppose the three years since it closed is a long time ago.

Also, doesn't this raise the issue of Netflix both producing and being the main distributor for this series? It seems that this show is only going to be offered through Netflix. Having content exclusive not only to their competitors but their suppliers seems foolish.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.09/netflix_pr.html
http://www.hackingnetflix.com/2008/07/netflix-closing.html

Re:Red Envelope Redux? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508406)

Netflix had to shutter its own entertainment division, Red Envelope, a few years ago. It was just a small studio that probably never outbid a much larger one for the indie films they invested in, but they were competing with their own suppliers. It's not clear to me how this is different, although I suppose the three years since it closed is a long time ago.

Good question. I'm guessing here but maybe downloading wasn't as prevalent three years ago and they couldn't afford to maintain such an operation. Now they have a much smaller proportion of their resources devoted to shipping and handling physical DVDs.

Re:Red Envelope Redux? (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508708)

"Also, doesn't this raise the issue of Netflix both producing and being the main distributor for this series?"
You mean like HBO?

"It seems that this show is only going to be offered through Netflix. Having content exclusive not only to their competitors but their suppliers seems foolish."
No need to worry. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Under the terms being discussed, Netflix would have the right to distribute the series online before any other outlet carried it. But Media Rights Capital would be free to make arrangements for later broadcast or DVD sales, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704164204576203262433339214.html#ixzz1GnbRCkOL [wsj.com]

As a paying netflix customer... (1)

kaoshin (110328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508200)

I won't be watching that piece of fei-oo. Finish Firefly. I can kill you with my brain.

Re:As a paying netflix customer... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508380)

I won't be watching that piece of fei-oo. Finish Firefly. I can kill you with my brain.

Call me crazy, but could we please have a space-based scifi show which would be closer to the realities of space travel and habitation? I'm sure it would be more gripping than the cartoonish series we have had to put up with (Firefly aside, it's actually the one bright spot in the past 30 years.)

Re:As a paying netflix customer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508668)

Here try Mobile Suit Gundam then. It's as realistic as they come, giant robots and psychic powers aside.

Re:As a paying netflix customer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509026)

Huh? Firefly = Wild West meets Space Age. I mean it's great to have a show situated on the edges of the known universe where there's a frontier-mentality, where there's a mix of hi-tech, lo-tech and no-tech, a harsh environment filled with bad guys, lawlessness, where it's hard to survive, but Firefly just overshot the target by a mile or two. They have the cowboy boots and are only missing the stetsons.

I watched Firefly, enjoyed it for what it was, but I wouldn't call it the 'one bright spot in the past 30 years'; how about some of the Star Trek franchises, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT? Stargate Atlantis? Babylon 5? Galatica (original or reimagined)? The X Files? The Outer Limits? Andromeda? That Terminator-show, forget the name of it, something like Sarah Connor Adventures which would also be great for Netflix to pick up? Earth Final Conflict?

Re:As a paying netflix customer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509072)

We've had them. Defying Gravity lasted less than a season. Star Cops (lousy name, great show - UK, mid 1980s) lasted even less than that.

-Alastair

House of Cards (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508366)

Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey will star in and executive produce MRC's television series "House of Cards," TheWrap has confirmed.

David Fincher, who was nominated for an Academy Award for directing "The Social Network," is directing the pilot and producing the show. Beau Willimon, who is attached to George Clooney's "Ides of March," wrote the pilot.

Eric Roth, who wrote Fincher's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," is also an executive producer, as are Joshua Donen and Dana Brunetti also are executive producers.

The series is adapted from the 1990 British miniseries and the book, which follows a British politician who wants to be prime minister. It did well in the UK, winning a BAFTA and an Emmy.

The Fincher version is set in the United States.

Is nothing sacred? Why do these shows have to be re-made? House of Cards [wikipedia.org] was a masterpiece and I fear that too much will be lost in translation to an American setting. Please don't talk to me about The Office. The original series looked like a documentary, now they've completely given up on that by bringing in too many camera angles and taking the documentary look away from it. Losing that essential element makes it difficult to watch.

Re:House of Cards (1)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508762)

"You might very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment."

Well, actually I can, and I agree: "Americanizing" House of Cards will ruin it completely. It would be like making an American version of Doctor Who. Some things are just too sacrilegious to even consider.

Re:House of Cards (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508958)

The main difference between the American "Office" and the original version is that the American version is funny.

Re:House of Cards (2, Informative)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509192)

The main difference between the American "Office" and the original version is that the American version is funny.

You got it backwards, mate. The UK version is funny, the US version is not.

SGU! (Stargate Universe) (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508394)

I would watch it. If it airs globally. I'm in Europe. If thats ok. I can't wait four years before it airs over here. I suppose so, because this is original content and releasing it globaly would only be in your benefit. Yay! Yay? Or is this wishful thinking..

Re:SGU! (Stargate Universe) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508656)

I'm also a paying Netflix customer in Canada and I wouldn't mind a $1/month increase if Netflix would pick up great shows like Stargate Universe; this should fund the initial investments and then DVD/BR sales and syndication plus merchandising etc. will have to bring in enough money to start new projects (a new Star Trek franchise, anyone?).

Re:SGU! (Stargate Universe) (1)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509068)

MGM gets all the money from DVD sales etc of the stargate franchise.
One of the reasons syfy keeps dropping the series, can't get enough viewership to cover the production costs very profitably. I highly doubt Netflix thinks it's worth it to buy the complete rights to a Stargate Franchise.
Side note: Love SGU. *tear*

Re:SGU! (Stargate Universe) (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508916)

Sky One started airing SGU in the UK 4 days after Syfy...

Eh (2)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508458)

How about you add streaming to all the stuff you currently have first.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508928)

Hence the reason why Netflix is bidding on original content.

Netflix would stream everything if those that owned the rights would allow them to. Since the current content owners prevent Netflix from streaming more, what better way to free yourself from some of those limitations?

Re:Eh (2)

dunezone (899268) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509040)

Its not as easy as you think. All those films they stream they need to get licensed from the distributors. Then depending on the release of the film, the popularity, they might only be able to stream X number of times or for X number of days. The mail service is a legal renting system, they purchased 100 dvds so they can send out 100 dvds to 100 renters. Streaming is a different area because they could technically buy 1 dvd, rip it, and stream it 100 times but this wouldn't be legal so they have to get permission and pay certain fees, etc, etc to get movies to be streamed. This is why the majority of the stuff they have on the streaming service is garbage.

'original' to be redefined (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508480)

as no sight, sound, thought or movement is truly original by nature's reckoning. we made all the ones here, so they're copied onto media over&over. what is relatively new, is the current coin of the realm, & the associated subscription/hostage usery & media plans available to us, although neither is original, by any measure. the holycost so far; more than any of us is able to imagine, & growing.

lame. buy more storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508530)

You could buy a good deal of Akamai mirrors and storage/power/cooling for 100 million. Then digitize some more decent shows and movies instead of mostly older content.

Support linux then I might care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508534)

Until then netflix does not exist.

FIREFLY (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508540)

Buy the rights to firefly and pump that shit out!

Re:FIREFLY (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508874)

I'm not sure that would work. The new BSG was a great show at the beginning of the series then it turned to crap. I like Firefly too much to see that happen to them.

OK, too many egghead nerds here... (1)

billrp (1530055) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508982)

Netflix is simply positioning itself to be acquired by somebody like Comcast (ie Kabletown). By proving they are capable of making these kinds of deals, they suddenly become a bigger player. (The Netflix team has worked pretty hard these last few years and they are ready to retire in big luxury.)
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