You may not realize it yet, but television will never be the same. Last week Netflix raised the stakes by introducing its own original series, House of Cards. Created by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey the hour-long drama centers around a Majority Whip in Washington with dreams of becoming the President of the United States.
Spacey plays the perfect anti-hero in a show that is equal partsHomeland and The West Wing. Unlike most television shows however, the audience no longer has to wait an entire week to find out what happens next. The format of Netflix allows the company to release the entire series in a single batch. That means that viewers could theoretically marathon the whole series in a single day or watch it at their leisure.
While it may not seem like a big deal it essentially changes the entire way networks will now approach releasing television. The traditional yearly schedule can easily be replaced by single-batch installments. It is an approach that does make quite a bit of sense once you realize that most of the world currently gets its content on-demand anyways.
The genius in Netflix’s strategy is that only subscribers can watch the show. As of yet there are no plans to release the show on DVD so becoming a member is the only way to watch it, their numbers are going to skyrocket as a result. The real question now is whether or not other companies will follow suit.
Major, established companies like CBS and NBC are now in the position of being locked into their traditional formatting. It is possible they may incorporate the new concept into their web content but even that would be difficult to get out to the masses. Cable networks will benefit the most from the move as sites like HBO GO can easily adapt the concept for all of their new shows.
Although nothing has been announced there is no doubt that Netflix will continue to create original programming. House of Cards is a high-quality show with an A-list cast and crew that shows the company knows exactly what it is doing. This is one house of cards that isn’t going to fall anytime soon.