Monday, May 18, 2015

Television Execs: 3 Tips on How to Respond to Netflix

Television execs – did you know that Netflix added a record 4.9 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2015 while traditional TV viewing among 18-24-year-olds in 2014 was down by more than 17%? Internet TV streaming can no longer be ignored, and as a student of the Northwestern Medill Integrated Marketing Communications program I have identified three important articles that tackle these changing consumer trends head-on.

New York Times writer Emily Steel recently interviewed Netflix CEO Reed Hastings one-on-one for her article "Netflix is Basing Its Future on Exclusive Programming." He talks about Netflix’s stock boom and recent bevy of original programming such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Bloodline, and Marvel’s Daredevil. Hastings also clarifies his company’s relationship with HBO – Netflix does not want to kill HBO. It wants to kill plugged-in TV.

The important quote: “We’ve had 80 years of linear TV, and it’s been amazing, and in its day the fax machine was amazing…The next 20 years will be this transformation.”

Picture Credit: Mike Cassese/Reuters

However, Netflix isn’t just pushing the industry forward from a content standpoint. In the Wired article “How Netflix is Creating the Ultra High-Def Future of TV,” editor Brian Barrett focuses in on what Netflix is doing on the technological front. The company is upgrading its website and servers to handle ultra high-definition 4K video and high-dynamic range streaming (HDR for short). These types of intense visual upgrades can take years to add on to physical televisions due to bandwidth concerns and product life cycles but can be more easily implemented into online services. 

As an Integrated Marketing Communications student, I have three major recommendations based on the above articles:
  • Find Streamers - Internet television streamers are looking for new projects too – pitch to their needs just like you would to traditional networks. 
  • Get Online - Find a way to move your company’s new and completed content to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or even all three if possible. 
  • Play with Format - Online streaming allows for all the rules of traditional television to be broken – explore longer and shorter-format works to reach new audiences. 
Internet television is where the future is. Moving creative operations more toward the online sphere will help your company thrive and put it in position to continue producing great content for a new era.

Zach Hyman has immersed himself in the creative during his time at Northwestern, majoring in Radio, Television, and Film with a concentration in Creative Writing for the Media and picking up an additional certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications. He's worked in development and casting at Karga Seven Pictures and in talent representation at The Gersh Agency alongside directing the rhythm and dance ensemble Boomshaka. Zach will be attending Northwestern again in the fall to get his Master’s Degree in Leadership for Creative Enterprises (Go Cats!). Find him on Twitter at @ZachRHyman.

1 comment:

  1. This tips are very interesting and it feels as if they can actually play an essential role when its about Netflix.