Netflix, the company that was laughed out of a merger by the now-defunct Blockbuster in the late 1990s, now has over 50 million members in 50 countries. They are producing and pumping out exclusive content via the medium of TV and are ready to dive, head first, into film production. With a Netflix monopoly on the horizon, does Netflix mark the death of Box Office and TV as we know it?
HBO still remains the most lucrative and advanced subscription service in the world but the creative freedom and border breaking possibility of Netflix is becoming a draw for the world’s creative.
Even the industrial Marvel Studios has pitched a tent in Netflix’s field after signing a deal for 5 exclusive TV series based on Marvel superheroes.That particular small screen journey will begin with the adventures and crusades of Daredevil, played, as we will all remember, by Ben Affleck in the terrible feature film adaptation.
Netflix has the likes of Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Lillyhammer, Hemlock Grove and Derek as exclusives. They have social networking, mainly Twitter, locked down and by their side in the ratings and popularity polls. And whilst conventional TV series rely and are executed by audience numbers, Netflix shows don’t live by that burden. They have a steady subscription profit flow and if they prove popular then skies the limit.
“It’s only a matter of time until creative individuals and media producers find that their shows are open to a wider audience and a lower level of scrutiny on Netflix rather than executive dependent news channels.”
And now that Netflix has its eyes locked on the possibility of producing its own movies, I fear for the theatre complex? The fear begin and flourished from news that Netflix had agreed a deal with the Weinstein Bros to co-finance and distribute Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2 on their subscription service. Let that sink in, the sequel to an Oscar winning classic will debut online, not in the cinemas.
And for Netflix, Hidden Dragon is only the beginning. One can bet that they have their eyes on a few more sequels, reboots and original titles in the coming months. So expect some big announcements soon.
Personally, I don’t think Netflix will rid the towns and cities of cinemas and screens. We, as an audience, enjoy and are too engrained in the armchair popcorn feeling to substitute it for a computer screen. TV however, now that is where the qualms and fears should beholden.
“If they don’t watch out, Netflix and other online subscription services like Hulu and Amazon Prime will be the only channels on air.”