Wednesday, May 22, 2013


No not me!  Arrested Development, on Netflix, I'm crying Uncle and subscribing!

Why?  Well I used to be a Netflix subscriber and to be honest found the online selection poor.  So I cancelled, and no number of begging emails from them, (forget trying to stop them emailing you, it's relentless), offering free months, first born children, swiss bank accounts would get me back to the service.  I have been happily living with Apple TV for online movies at $4 a rental.  On average we might watch two Apple TV movies a month so it's net net.

Then Netflix then did something really clever, they announced that they had secured the entire cast of Arrested Development to do a new series! Then they had to go away and write, produce and deliver that service so it got filed in the back of my mind.

On the heels of that announcement Netflix produced House Of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Kristin Connelly & Kate Mara. WOW that's some firepower and at $3mm an episode, it must have took balls of brass to green light, but apparently you can hear Reed Hastings clanging as he walks the halls of Netflix.  Not only was it a bold move, but praised by critics and audience alike.

Netflix just announced that it was striking a blow to Viacom's bottom line and allowing their license deal to end.  They might pick up a series here and there on an individual basis but no overall deal.  This is a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars to Viacom, and a lot of content to Netflix, so what's going on?

I think Reed has worked out the HBO model.  Fill 99% of your schedule with "B" list library movies, and swing for the fences with break out home grown shows like "Soprano's" and "Entourage".  As long as you maintain at least one must see show you keep your audience.

So, first House of Cards and now on Sunday, Arrested Development.  They are both masterful moves, but if he wants to really keep it going he has to have a large development pipeline and at least one Arrested Development ready to be released every quarter.  If they can do that, they really could become the HBO of the Internet, well in a way as they have already surpassed HBO's subscription numbers, they already have!

Well they got me, I'm in for the Arrested Development ride, and I'll also watch House of Cards, but what's next?  Can I lobby for Miami Vice?

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