Entertainment &Online Video Wes Novack on 05 May 2012

Netflix original programming: they're on to something good

Netflix original programming: they’re on to something good

The online streaming behemoth Netflix has recently forayed into new territory: exclusive, original programming. With content licensing fees continuing to climb and cable networks frightened of Netflix cannibalizing their bread and butter (pay TV subscriptions), Netflix has been prudent to explore alternative content acquisition options.

It’s no doubt that creating good content can be a pricey proposition, but if you requisition your own content, you get the bonus of exclusive availability, with the content only being available to Netflix customers. This situation, in effect, puts Netflix head to head with other entities seeking content, such as the cable TV networks. Netflix is even outbidding some of these networks on acquiring the rights to this new exclusive content.

Netflix-Original-Programming-Lilyhammer

I was intrigued and curious about the new exclusive content, so I checked out Netflix’s first offering, the show “Lilyhammer”.

Lilyhammer stars ‘Steven Van Zandt’, well known for his wise guy roles, as the character Frank Tagliano, a New York City Mafia “fixer”. Frank is quite happy with his place in the Big Apple organization until his boss bites the dust and a “bean counter” becomes the new head honcho. After Frank narrowly survives an assassination attempt, he decides to roll over on his new hefe, testifying for the Feds in exchange for a relocation to the sleepy, snow-covered town of Lilyhammer in Norway.

Frank brings his big city ways and Mafia attitude with him to Lilyhammer and it’s not long before he establishes himself as an important figure in town who can make things happen (mostly for his own benefit).

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the Lilyhammer series. It had me laughing a LOT more than I expected it would. We’re now hoping for a season 2!

More Netflix exclusive content is on the way!

Netflix will be continuing this exclusive content trend, bringing some compelling new shows to its subscribers in the near future, including House of Cards (a political drama starring Kevin Spacey), Orange is the New Black (a comedy from Jenji Kohan, the creator of Weeds), Hemlock Grove (a horror series directed and produced by Eli Roth) and a brand new season of the show Arrested Development, which will only be found on Netflix.

All of this exclusive content has rekindled my interest in Netflix, but the question is, how will the Hollywood movie and TV studios react? Netflix is now analogous to a premium pay TV channel. Will this new angle of competition make it tougher (or more expensive) for Netflix to acquire the rights to stream Hollywood’s content? At this time it’s not clear, but this is certainly causing quite the battle on the “pay TV” and content access front. It will be interesting to see how Netflix, the pay TV providers and the Hollywood studios duke it out in the coming years.

You can check out a trailer for the Lilyhammer series in the YouTube video embedded below.

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