Is Netflix the New HBO? Streaming Giant to Expand into Original Documentaries, Standup Specials

Via Variety:

Netflix is moving to mimic HBO even more closely: The Internet streaming service’s execs said they will widen the original programming beyond TV series to include documentaries as well as stand-up comedy specials.

“Over the last six months, our move into original programming has begun to redefine Netflix in the eyes of consumers,” CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells said in a letter to shareholders discussing second quarter results.

In terms of relative size, about 5% of Netflix’s approximately $3 billion in content library net book value is for originals. That ratio could increase to 10% to 15% in the years ahead, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said at a recent investor conference.

Down the road, Netflix’s originals initiative will include “broadly appealing feature documentaries” and stand-up comedy specials. “Netflix has become a big destination for fans of these much loved and often under-distributed genres,” Hastings and Wells said.


Ergo, Netflix seems to be aiming for an HBO/Showtime-esque model, except with a much larger library of other movies, which sounds like relatively big deal. I'd wait for a very thoughtful article from your go-to sophisticated entertainment blog for more, but the point here is that people will probably write a lot of paragraphs off of this, and someone may even land a book deal just so he/she could talk about “the changing of the guard.”

If you don't care about that stuff, the main takeaway here is that there will be more quality content for you to consume. There are no real negatives about that. Shit's bad, you don't watch it. Shit's good, you talk about and get to be superior to those not in the loop.

[H/T: Variety