Exclusive content in more places at same time key for Netflix to address on demand TV generation

Joseph O'Halloran | 15-11-2012

OTT leader Netflix is predicting golden future for its services as it addresses the new on demand generation of viewers with multi-territory simultaneous releases but assures that there will always be a space in the TV business for traditional broadcasters.

Presenting an eagerly awaited keynote at the DigiWorld Summit 2012, Netflix’s vice president of content Kelly Merryman emphasised that the industry was just at the beginning of seeing what TV does for viewers.
She outlined the challenges of addressing the growing on demand TV generation who wants content wherever they want, however they wasn’t at using any business model. In addressing these challenges, in particular the complication of windowing, the executive said that her company would move to producing more exclusive services which would be launched in multiple locations simultaneously.
Merryman invited the audience to take note of 1 February 213 which she promised would be a “great day” in the company’s history as it would make the launch of all episodes of House of Cards, series 4 of Arrested Development and Orange Is The New Black across all territories including the US, UK, Ireland, Latin America and the now one month old Scandinavian business. “We see using original series in multiple territories simultaneously as a unique way of testing morphing windows for the on demand industry,” she said.
On a general point, Merryman stressed that company, traditionally viewed as a bête noir threatening the TV industry, saw its place firmly within the overall TV market. She noted that since 2077 when it began offering OTT content it had 25 million subscribers in a still very healthy US pay-TV market which she said had remained virtually untouched by Netflix’s.
Merryman revealed that contrary to rumours of deals with IPTV operators and other pay-TV distributors, Netflix would continue its modus operandi of direct to consumers.
Rejecting fears voiced by the audience in Montpellier that Netflix could be at the vanguard of a cultural channel to local broadcasting that could jeopardise creativity, Merryman assured delegates of just how essential work with local content providers was. She noted that in the UK Netflix was offering not just content from major broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 but that it has struck deals with independent producers of TV shows and local small independent film companies. She added that on average 15% of Netflix content offered outside of the US was local in origin.
Despite acknowledging multi-platform as a key element in its growth, Merryman also surprisingly added that contrary to recent research findings, tablets and mobiles played a small part in its content consumption.