The big Netflix factor: Will content diversity save it?

“What do you want to watch? I can go to the DVD store to pick out a movie for us to watch tonight”, said my mother.

“I don’t know. What are my options?” said a 7 year old me as I was met with a blank stare from my equally clueless mother.

In those days, and I mean around ten years ago in India, watching a movie was a more cumbersome process than it is today. It involved the physical effort to go to a store and purchase a DVD to watch a particular movie at home as most movies on the internet that could be watched for free were pirated copies and thus did not provide the user with the authentic entertainment experience.

Digital platforms like Netflix, Amazon prime video and Hulu offering subscription video-on-demand(SVOD) services have transformed the entertainment industry and the way people view it. The shift from cable TV to Internet TV has been extreme in the past few years and this revolution has been led by none other than the leader in original content production today, Netflix.

According to trends in TV programming, there has been a prevalence of certain program types, genres, production sources/contexts in the Film and Media industry. The shows and movies the audience wants are subject to business models based on conventions that are not exciting to the average viewer today.

According to Ted Sarandos, who runs Netflix’s Hollywood operation, all hallmarks of traditional television have fallen away because of Netflix. He claims that the company’s ability to analyze large amounts of data related to customer viewing preferences has helped them decide the content they need to buy in order to appeal to audiences in countries where Netflix is available.

The company’s reach is so extensive that it has found its way into popular culture which explains the origin of “Netflix and chill”.

netflix-originalsInterestingly, there has been some debate recently about whether Netflix would continue to dominate the entertainment business in the future, even though it itself created the world of internet TV. The arrival of strong competition like Hulu, which is owned by 21st Century Fox, Disney and NBC Universal in the market poses a serious threat to Netflix as these companies have been giants in the entertainment business before the arrival of Netflix. The years of experience that these companies have surpasses that of Netflix. In addition to that, the networks that supply original content to Netflix may feel threatened by it as time progresses.

Due to these factors, it would be legible to assume that Netflix’s position as a global leader is in danger. However, here’s the kick:

The fact that Netflix has been a pioneer in the creation of Internet TV and has found its way into popular culture, so much so that cable TV is no longer considered as important, is what makes Netflix a strong leader. More importantly, the content that Netflix originals offer caters to a wide range of audiences which explains why content diversity is the biggest strength of Netflix and would not let it fail. In other words, it is an aggressively international service which gives it an enormous user base as it establishes itself as a series of national services linked through a common platform architecture.

netflixoriginalseriesThe brand value of “A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES” surpasses that of any other Original series.

The way the world views Netflix is another important aspect that will not let other competitors reduce its prominence. It’s not uncommon to hear people today say “Let’s Netflix” but it would be considered uncommon or even weird if someone said “Let’s Hulu” or “Amazon and chill.”Netflix has become a part of a global culture due to its wide expanse in so many countries. Even if the networks that are responsible for original content stop business with Netflix because they see it as a potential threat, it would not be in their best interest. I say this because if they try to do away with Netflix, they would have nowhere else to go and so the “death” of Netflix seems rather impossible.