Netflix is betting the house that "House of Cards" will become the juggernaut that propels the company onto the next level. The company reportedly spent $100 million to secure the rights to the series starring Kevin Spacey, out bidding other mainstream networks like AMC and HBO. This is the first TV series developed/distributed exclusively on Netflix and the company has decided to also take a nontraditional approach by releasing all 13 episodes at once.
This trend is not new for legacy programming as services like Netflix, Hulu, as well as digital video recorders, have transformed the TV viewing experience by enabling viewers to devour multiple episodes or even entire seasons in marathon viewing sessions. Since the inception of television Hollywood has always fed audiences on a steady diet of, "Wait a week and we'll give you new episodes, then wait a season, we'll give you another season," Netflix Chief Content Office Ted Sarandos said. "The Internet is attuning people to get what they want when they want it," Sarandos said to an LA Times reporter. "'House of Cards' is literally the first show for the on-demand generation." If successful, the strategy could begin to unwind 60 years of serialized television but what else could it change? Potentially everything... the way we talk about what we watch, the way we share it, the way reviewers critique shows, and even the way the industry monetizes content.
In the meantime, will "Cards" be a success? We may never know since Netflix does not divulge ratings or numbers, following in the footsteps of the pay cable networks, which only like to discuss actual data when it suits them. Will this non-conventional launch approach stick? I bet it will!! Let’s be sure to revisit this topic later in the quarter when the independent research groups or Netflix begin to release their findings.