Netflix: a coming of age

So much has already been written and will be written about Netflix… its success since launching a streaming service 10 years ago, its strong share price, its ability to leverage global audiences through content, its $6bn budget, its short-comings as a sustainable business, its tiny profit margins, its bubble which is about to burst.

Whatever your view, it is certain to say that traditional broadcasters are hugely wary of the new normal that Netflix and other OTT services represent – eg. the falling levels of linear TV viewing. Young Americans now watch around 10 fewer hours of traditional TV each week than they did 5 years ago, a fall of about 40%. Something similar is happening in the UK.

And now the new normal of Netflix has reached a new level. Netflix has come of age by winning best TV Drama at this year’s Golden Globes. The Crown has given Netflix the accolade that House of Cards could not. It also heralds an age where relative outsiders to the business now have a legitimacy they have not enjoyed before. Sure, Amazon Video has won GG’s best Comedy/Musical in recent years but best TV Drama stands apart (the crown jewel if you will).

The last time a network – ABC – won best TV Drama at the Golden Globes was in 2006 for Grey’s Anatomy. For the following 9 years cable channels won with the likes of Mad Men, Homeland and Breaking Bad.

So are OTT services such as Netflix and Amazon Video now surpassing the cable broadcasters who once surpassed the Networks? Time will tell but the answer seems to be ‘yes, most likely’.

 

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