Part of the reason creators such as David Fincher, The Wachowskis, J. Michael Straczynski, Jenji Kohan and Ricky Gervais went to Netflix was because it invented its own image of success. At the beginning of the SVOD service’s original offerings, there was no reason to question how well everything was doing… but we’re not living in 2012 anymore.
How much longer can Netflix’s data secrecy be maintained when contracts with talent start coming due? Agents and managers are going to start wanting to know just how much their clients are worth to the service, and if Netflix refuses to share that information, there will be nothing stopping those high-profile names from walking across town to HBO.
Of course the response to that would be, “well Netflix will just find new talent.” But will they? Hollywood can only be played for cheap so many times before it starts growing wise. Like Marvel is learning now with Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, once people realize they’re worth something, they’ll demand that and nothing less. Sure, Fincher may come onboard House of Cards for just a budget – but what about the next Fincher? That guy or gal is going to want hard data concerning their value, in order to avoid the pitfalls of his/her predecessor. What happens then?
Netflix prides itself on being the home of quality original programming above all else. They don’t want you to be interested in Sony’s Breaking Bad on Netflix – Sony being the entity that produces and owns the series – they want you to be interested in Netflix’s House of Cards on Netflix. But what happens when you can’t make the next House of Cards because the next Kevin Spacey has grown wise to the secrets being hidden?
Audiences are fickle creatures, and if the content stream on Netflix were to dry up because it’s not interested in licensing library content like Amazon and Hulu – and they can’t get a new original show off the ground because of lack of talent (who aren’t interested in being undervalued) – then it will mean end times for the company.
Netflix is Schrödinger’s cat. It’s both a success and failure because we don’t have enough information to determine either. But is that lack of information a hindrance? Can the service survive in the coming decade without letting people in on its worth? How much longer can it thrive on its name recognition alone? They may claim viewership data doesn’t matter because it’s a subscriber-based business model – but nothing’s ever that simple.
What are your thoughts? Will company’s like Marvel continue working with Netflix without proper feedback data? Is this a concern to you as a consumer? Or is you only concern having the streaming service you subscribe to offering continuous new content – original or not? Let us know in the comments.
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