Netflix: Winning the Battle but starting the “Streaming Wars”

This was originally published on Monogram but mentions millennial culture in relation to advancing technology and the Internet. Enjoy!

Just a couple years ago, the words “Netflix Original Series” would have stirred up reactions of doubt. The same Netflix that takes you a half hour to find a decent movie on instant stream? The Netflix that may or may not have the latest TV season release yet? Yes, that one.

To further doubt, many Netflix users may remember that back in 2011 the company was not doing so well. Part of the problem was that CEO Hastings decided to divide the company into two businesses: one for DVD sales, and one for online streaming, which was catastrophic for the company. Many Netflix users may remember looking through the instant stream titles a couple years ago and finding a laughable selection, and virtually nothing to watch.

But just last year Forbes named Netflix the Turnaround Story of 2012. So, what caused this comeback? First of all, the company decided to take the the tablet and smartphone “trend” seriously. What was their strength in the present technological landscape? Streaming. With a stroke of brilliance they decided to make this part of their comeback strategy.

Original Shows Plus Streaming is a Winning Combo

On top of the focus on online streaming, Netflix has debuted good shows. Excuse the less-than-articulate gushing, but like, really good. With television networks like AMC breaking ratings records with shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead (not to mention networks like HBO, and Showtime), Netflix was taking on an enormous effort to keep up. And so far, their efforts are paying off.

The original series include shows like political-thriller House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey, comedy-drama Orange Is The New Black, and heart-warming comedy Derek starring Ricky Gervais. And Netflix shows no signs of slowing down. Last week they ordered four more original series from Walt Disney’s Co. entertainment powerhouse Marvel. And this week they announced five more original series including a DreamWorks family series, a drama series, and a historical miniseries. And, there are now rumors that there may be Netflix original movies. Whew! Get ready to fire up your Wi-Fi up and make some popcorn.

Because of the high-quality content Netflix is delivering, they are stepping up the bar for competitors. HuluPlus now features a few original series, and Amazon Prime announced an upcoming (and much anticipated) original show called Alpha House. Another novel approach Netflix decided to take advantage of is “binge-watching” — the technological phenomenon they created — by introducing the whole season of House of Cards at once. That’s 13 episodes.

Millennials are tuned, or rather streamed-in

Perhaps one of the greatest “wins” for Netflix is that they have potentially won over the always-wired Millennial Generation. Millennials are perceived as being very fickle about brand-loyalty, but a study shows that 80% of U.S. Millennials go back to brands they like. Netflix at least has the attention of this generation made up of 77 million people, and that’s not a bad audience. And so far the monthly price of streaming service is still set at just $8 a month, which is extremely Millennial-friendly for the post-Recession, student-debt racked generation.

Millennials are a brilliant investment. When someone my age hears there’s a new “Original Netflix Series” out their ears may just perk up, and they get to googling the news on their smartphones. They could have a generation that will be “streaming in” to every new original show release since they are winning the battle on great content. One Millennial tweet says of Netflix: “True, [it] captures my attention far more than ahulu original series. I will giveAmazon [Prime] a chance though.” But Netflix doesn’t just have quality entertainment on its side: they have also won a greater battle of creating the platform. As Millennial Tim Gallen says in a tweet: “they’ve disrupted the model. I’m always a fan of that.”

So with all these exciting initial battles, Netflix may have won, they have also ignited a war over the streams of millions. Kudos, Netflix. And keep up the good work, because millennials will be streaming in.

Published with Monogram

One thought on “Netflix: Winning the Battle but starting the “Streaming Wars”

  1. Pingback: Is the 2nd Screen Really the 1st Screen for Millennials?

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