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I'm obsessed with Netflix. Not the stock, but the product itself. Frankly I find myself throwing it on even in the background sometimes while doing random work on weekends or something like that, just for noise that is different than music. Saw this gem in the FT today regarding Netflix.

There is one crucial difference between the series and other expensively produced TV shows featuring A-list film talent more familiar to audiences from their appearances on the big screen. House of Cards , a US political drama, will be aired only on Netflix, the subscription video service, and all 13 episodes will be made available simultaneously around the world Friday.

So we've watched the music industry, publishing industry, newspaper industry all have the middle man slapped around like a donkey; is it finally time for the television industry to undergo the same? Yes, I understand that instant streaming and availability has been around for awhile now but realistically people still have one or two options at best for cable and then a bevy of channels for x amount per month. Does the ability of a company like Netflix suddenly change the way shows are funded and produced? I doubt it very much, but really I'm not all that convinced that we won't soon be seeing more individualized subscription services to channels more granular than we already have.

How do you guys feel about the future of content providers juxtaposed against cable companies? Do you see them combining even further to the point where the content providers actually own the delivery system for content? Could the content creators, providers and delivery systems all become one?

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Comments (20)

  • TechBanking's picture

    Comcast (Kablevision) began the vertical integration when they bought NBC. I believe that this trend will continue and in the future all TV will be delivered over IP by streaming in one way or another. The hardware is already moving in that direction as well.

    Definitely an interesting change to see Netflix doing this as well.

  • Coffeemonster's picture

    I cancelled my cable service just yesterday because Netflix carried all the content I cared about. Local channels are already coming across the wire/air and everything else is wrapped up for $8/month.

    I feel the same way as TechBanking: I think we're going to see a lot more content provided through IP as content-makers get into the business of delivering that content on their own, or by linking up with a service like Netflix for (I'm assuming) a lower cost as compared to various cable companies.

  • In reply to Coffeemonster
    UFOinsider's picture

    Coffeemonster:

    All interesting points....I just wanted to to say, you have an awesome username

    Get busy living

  • accountingbyday's picture

    The wife and I decided that when the kid is born we're cutting cable. There's going to be a lot less sitting around after work and more focus on what's on at 2am.

    I'm going with an antenna, Netflix and Hulu Plus (probably). That with a slightly faster internet speed should work perfectly for us.

    Thankfully, I have a friend who will log in to the Watch ESPN app for me to use.

  • SECfinance's picture

    Can't decide on whether or not to get cable once I graduate and move into my apartment for FT (cable is included in my rent right now). Leaning towards no - especially if I can continue to use my parents' Comcast info to get into WatchESPN. I have Netflix and Hulu Plus right now and like them both a lot. House of Cards is fantastic as well.

    MM IB -> Corporate Development

  • milehigh's picture

    I've been debating cutting the cord for a while now. I'm basically paying ~$100/month so that I can watch ESPN and HBO and I rarely watch any other channels which is ridiculous. I'd estimate that 95% of what I watch is through Netflix (just started House of Cards last night, and thought the first two episodes were excellent) for $8/month.

    I'd happily pay $5-10/month per channel that I want to watch (as I do with HBO) and forgo the rest, but I can't see the monopoly that is the cable industry letting me do that anytime soon. IMO, if everyone could piecemeal their TV plans, then cable providers would take an absolute beating, as most people only seem to watch 5-10 channels of the 200+ they pay for, me included.

  • newfirstyear's picture

    I don't have cable. Only netflix

  • barbariansatthegates's picture

    I'd cut the cord but I got a stupid good deal which makes expanded basic+internet 5$ more than just internet. I will probably do it when the promotion is over though.

    PE is the new black.

  • NorthSider's picture

    No question in my mind that we won't have cable television soon, but that doesn't box out the subscription television providers.

    The fact is that cable / satellite is very shortly no longer going to be the best way to broadcast television. Internet infrastructure is cheaper to maintain and consolidates the amount of infrastructure that has to be in place to continue television service.

    There's still a demand for live television, but how quickly and in what manner does cable television shift to internet distribution? Do all the networks set up their own streaming service through their websites, or do companies like Comcast and DirecTV simply shift their methods of broadcast to internet streaming rather than cable / satellite signals?

    Pretty much all modern TVs come standard with internet connectivity and "Smart TV" features. To the extent you have an older TV, you can use products like Roku and Apple TV as TV box replacements. This is the revolution that Apple has been trying to bank on with Apple TV, but they are sadly not the only player in this fight. How long till Netflix joins the "Smart TV box" market?

    I personally wouldn't be surprised to see Google win this battle. They appear a few steps ahead of everyone in this game, from where I sit. They launched their Gigabit project in Kansas City, they've been pushing Roku and expanding Google TV. These guys understand something: the solution to television in the near future is internet distribution, which demands a solid "Smart TV box" (to replace your cable box) and improved internet speeds (to make certain you don't have to deal with buffering live TV).

    "For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

  • NorthSider's picture

    Also worth noting, I think, that although the discussion in this thread is centered around cable subscription and cutting out the distribution channels run by Comcast, Time Warner, etc., the suggestion of the OP's post is that Netflix would be performing the role of production financing, which I find unlikely.

    So we've watched the music industry, publishing industry, newspaper industry all have the middle man slapped around like a donkey; is it finally time for the television industry to undergo the same?

    It's interesting: when you mention the music industry here, I assumed you're talking about cutting out radio? Because although the record labels have certainly lost profit from the elimination of CDs, they are still pretty vital to music distribution as marketers of the "stars".

    More importantly, while music and writing are extremely cheap to produce, television/film isn't so. It costs millions to produce a TV series, and thousands to record an album and it's essentially free to publish digital articles. We're talking about different scales here.

    "For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

  • Nobama88's picture

    I was just contemplating shutting off my cable yesterday.

    I watch Netflix 99.9% of the time. The only reason I keep the cable it so I can watch the series on HBO and Showtime and so I can catch my college basketball games.

    I can stream any college basketball game online and through my tv. So, I am down to finding out how I can get Homeland and Games of Thrones through the internet... when I figure that out I am dropping cable for good.

  • In reply to Nobama88
    NorthSider's picture

    Nobama88:
    I can stream any college basketball game online and through my tv. So, I am down to finding out how I can get Homeland and Games of Thrones through the internet... when I figure that out I am dropping cable for good.

    If you haven't found ways to get those shows online, you aren't looking hard enough...

    "For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

  • In reply to NorthSider
    Nobama88's picture

    NorthSider:
    Nobama88:
    I can stream any college basketball game online and through my tv. So, I am down to finding out how I can get Homeland and Games of Thrones through the internet... when I figure that out I am dropping cable for good.

    If you haven't found ways to get those shows online, you aren't looking hard enough...

    Legally online, while the season is current, I should say.

  • In reply to Nobama88
    NorthSider's picture

    Nobama88:
    NorthSider:
    Nobama88:
    I can stream any college basketball game online and through my tv. So, I am down to finding out how I can get Homeland and Games of Thrones through the internet... when I figure that out I am dropping cable for good.

    If you haven't found ways to get those shows online, you aren't looking hard enough...

    Legally online, while the season is current, I should say.

    That'll be the day.

    "For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

  • In reply to NorthSider
    accountingbyday's picture

    NorthSider:
    Nobama88:
    I can stream any college basketball game online and through my tv. So, I am down to finding out how I can get Homeland and Games of Thrones through the internet... when I figure that out I am dropping cable for good.

    If you haven't found ways to get those shows online, you aren't looking hard enough...

    How would you go about doing this with the Apple TV? I have the ATV3 that can't be jailbroken - I dont know how to get sports or new content on most networks through the damn thing.

  • In reply to accountingbyday
    SECfinance's picture

    accountingbyday:
    NorthSider:
    Nobama88:
    I can stream any college basketball game online and through my tv. So, I am down to finding out how I can get Homeland and Games of Thrones through the internet... when I figure that out I am dropping cable for good.

    If you haven't found ways to get those shows online, you aren't looking hard enough...

    How would you go about doing this with the Apple TV? I have the ATV3 that can't be jailbroken - I dont know how to get sports or new content on most networks through the damn thing.

    You wouldn't, legally.

    MM IB -> Corporate Development

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  • In reply to B.JAM
    NorthSider's picture

    "For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

  • In reply to TechBanking
    Sandhurst's picture

    "There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."