Chief executive Reed Hastings said last month whilst discussing Netflix’s fourth-quarter results that the “phenomena” of channels becoming apps has validated the service’s “fundamental thesis”.
Though that means more competition will come out of the woodwork for Netflix, he said that internet television becoming mainstream was a welcome trend.
Now, with huge networks such as CBS and HBO offering programming directly to customers via the web and distributors launching their own online streaming TV services, the future of Netflix is a foggy situation.
We’ve seen it before, and whilst Xerox decades ago came up with many aspects of the personal computer (PC), other companies then went on to capitalise on their findings and eclipsed them altogether – could this happen today with Netflix? It’s something they’re already aggressively trying to avoid.
Customers and consumers may not be willing to pay for more than one service, but will those who want to stream HBO shows then not sign up for Netflix? Unlikely, as much of HBO’s content doesn’t appear on the service anyway, and the same can be said for Viacom.
What could have a huge impact however is “thinner” bundles than traditional cable which could come alongside broadband subscriptions.
These “thinner” internet-television bundles could diminish the appeal of Netflix and the like, and what the service truly needs to keep up appearances and maintain relevance is distinctive content that’s only found on their platform – content such as huge hits House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
Claiming that their original content is “some of its most efficient”, Netflix has had a couple of major players but also a huge blot on their landscape in the form of Marco Polo, which garnered a negative reaction and reportedly cost a huge $US5 million per episode made.
Still, making original content is something the company must continue to do and with risks will eventually come reward.
So will Netflix make it in the long run? Nobody could possibly say. It’s already making moves to ensure it’s still around in 2, 5, 10 years’ time, but with so many new ideas, companies and services on the landscape, is there a risk it could be overshadowed altogether? That’s down to the consumer.