A big chunk of Netflix’s streaming content has always been old seasons of popular TV shows. And these shows are licensed from traditional media companies that are, increasingly, seen as direct competitors to Netflix. This relationship has been precarious from the start, and it seemed only a matter of time before cable companies would wake up to the fact that forging licensing deals with Netflix could indirectly help put them out of business.
Now we may be seeing the first glimmers of that change in thinking, as media giants change their strategies, increasingly inking licensing deals with other video on demand streaming services like Hulu, or putting more episodes on demand using pay-TV distributors, according to Bloomberg.
Netflix has certainly not been ignorant of this shift, which may be why it has placed such an emphasis on original content like “Orange Is the New Black” and “House of Cards.” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos called original programming a “very efficient investment” in a letter to shareholders. “Nearly ninety percent of Netflix members have engaged with Netflix original content.” That is good news for Netflix if traditional media companies begin to shy away from licensing deals.
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