The future of TV according to Kevin Spacey

“Give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in at a reasonable price and they more likely pay for it than steal it.” That is in short what Kevin Spacey thinks tv should give to people in order to survive. Spacey also predicts that any differentiations between platforms will disappear saying that “the device and the length are irrelevant, the labels are useless” meaning that the more or less artificial difference between a TV show or film will disappear.

It seems that Spacey is not on only a good actor but also a true visionary when it comes to streaming content.

Kevin Spacey shared his thoughts in the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival on on 22 August 2013


How successful was Netflix’s House of Cards?

House of Cards

There has been a lot of buzz around the new series House of Cards that was exclusively produced for and broadcast on Netflix. Netflix is trying to reinvent television by releasing all episodes of a season at once. And even I am not really sure if one can still talk about a season now, fact is that there are more and more “binge watchers” that prefer to watch several episodes of a series during one period of time instead of waiting a week for a fresh one. Furthermore, there is a growing group of people who like to watch on demand instead of at the time a channel chooses to broadcast and there is obviously the “problem” for a lot of producers that fans of series will not wait until a local tv channel is finally buying a new season of a series. They want to watch it at the same time it is aired in, most of the time, the USA, and will download a version for free instead of waiting for a year or so. So one could say this concept behind House of Cards does make sense. But was it successful? Lost Remote did some research and put together an interesting article. They found that the House of Cards trailer was viewed over 1.6 million times on YouTube (of which more than a million between 16th January and 8th February). An analyses of tweets during the first three days resulted in a 63% positive sentiment and that traditional media is still very important since a publication in the New York Times generated almost 14k tweets in a day.

The question now is of course how long will the conversation last. With a “normal” broadcast schedule, there is the possibility to generate a spike in the conversation. With all episodes available at once, will a new way of consuming emerge? Will people use social media to plan a joint viewing for instance? Or will this experiment proof that monetizing a series like this is just not possible. Yet. Especially if one takes in account the (not entirely fair because product placement was left out) calculation made by The Atlantic: “520,834 people need to sign up for a USD 7.99 subscription for two years to break even”.