Recently, Variety posted an article concerning Netflix and their future plans. The web streaming service has stated they had plans to introduce “around 20” original scripted shows per year in an effort to appeal to a variety of people.
The statement about creating more original series isn’t a surprise taking into consideration the successes of Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. What is a surprise is the number of shows they plan on adding to their streaming service. With the number of shows they want to have for each year (including the new series in their partnership with Marvel), one has to wonder if Netflix is trying to become a competitor to the television networks.
Right off the bat, I don’t think Netflix can compete with the Big 4 of ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox. At least, not at the moment when there are still people who watch television first, Internet second. I do think it can be competitor to cable channels and premium networks such as SyFy, AMC, and Showtime. It has the benefits of more freedom to the creative staff like the premium networks and the benefits of not being inundated with commercials during the viewing. The added bonus is that the audience can watch the show whenever they want and allow for more viewership who’s willing to pay the 8 dollars a month to have Netflix.
Of course, the next question is can Netflix sustain all these series and would it affect their brand. I’ll start with the latter and say it won’t. Unlike say HBO and SyFy, Netflix’s brand is simply to provide streaming media toe the populace. There’s no set genre, tone, or demographic to the company and it gives them the necessary freedom to have a diverse number of shows. For the former, that’s a bit early to tell. We know that Netflix can handle original series and more people are willing to watch shows online through a variety of devices. But are they getting ahead of themselves by having nearly 20 series a year? Again, we’re going to have to wait and see when more series start to roll off the pipeline.