Netflix: waiting for films and TV is for chumps
30th Jan 2013 | 11:58
Streaming service wants to give you everything at once
Delayed gratification, your days are over. Like whining children, internet users are all about the now, the instant, the on-demand. I want it, I want it immediately and if you don't give it to me, I'll go elsewhere.
That's the motto apparently driving Netflix, whose US CEO Reed Hastings has spoken at length to GQ about the company's direction.
Hastings is very anti what he calls "managed dissatisfaction", where studios and broadcasters make viewers wait to see the next episode or wait to see a film at home after it's been out in the cinema.
"The traditional entertainment ecosystem is built on [managed dissatisfaction], and it's a totally artificial concept," he said.
Now, now, now
"The point of managed dissatisfaction is waiting. You're supposed to wait for your show that comes on Wednesday at 8pm, wait for the new season, see all the ads everywhere for the new season, talk to your friends at the office about how excited you are."
It's clearly not a concept he approves of, which is why Netflix has taken the power away from the studios by becoming the content creator itself.
The company funded and produced the entire fourth season of the newly-revived Arrested Development, for example, and has slated it to hit Netflix all in one go. While it will still hit the US site first, the UK will follow surprisingly soon behind - as such, legions of hardcore fans have cleared their schedules for May as they await an official date for the return of the Bluths.
The same goes for the Netflix-made, Kevin Spacey-starring House of Cards, which hits the streaming service this Friday.
The company's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, puts Netflix's goal into handy soundbite form: "The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us."
It's an expensive approach and many have suggested that it simply isn't sustainable. But hey, there's always money in the banana stand.