So...first I read this article on Variety.com. Go ahead.
Binge Viewing Bad for Netflix?
I don't get it. Certainly, it's evident that Variety doesn't get it. This is the future. This is where we're headed as an entertainment industry. The more the years move ahead, the more members of the younger generation get older and they're accustomed to watching content on iPads, iPhones, Androids, Kindle Fires, Nooks, etc, etc...
My 6-year-old daughter can take my iPad and open up the Netflix app to find episodes of the TV show, Arthur, to watch. Not impressed? My 3-year-old can do the same exact thing. Why would anyone think that my kids and other kids are going to look to television and film as the end all, be all of entertainment? They'd rather not sit in a theater for 2 hours and watch an animated movie. (Seriously, 2 hours?! These kids have little attention spans. 2 hours?!!) They'd rather stay home where they have countless opportunities to watch something.
While I was growing up, I religiously watched TV. I had two VCRS that constantly recorded all the shows I liked. (Kids, VCRs used to play these things call VHS tapes. Look it up.) If I missed a show, and I did, it was gone. Lost. I had to hope and pray that I'd be able to catch the episode in a re-run or maybe during it's summer run. They didn't have summer seasons of new shows back then. So you can imagine, how much I love today in television watching. I don't have to sit through awful skit after skit on SNL. I'll check out the highlights on Hulu. The same goes for episodes I might've missed throughout the week.
I didn't watch Breaking Bad from the start. It was a series I missed out on. Back in the day? It would be lost. Today? I plowed through Netflix's Instant library of past seasons and caught up on a pretty darn good show.
Binge viewing? Heck yeah, please! Bring it on! I want original content from Netflix. I want original, quality content on-line. It's not like something fantastic is coming out each and every week at the local movie theater. Television, while producing some quality stuff, is missing a lot more than it's hitting. (Try not to let the promos tell you that you're watching a good show. You know it when you see it.)
Then I read this article later on today. Go ahead, again.
Disc Sales Slip, but people still Buy
Now, I'm confused. People are opting for more digital, but they prefer hard copies. Do you think that's because you're consistently offering hard copies opposed to digital copies? You're not fully committing to digital copies. It was like pulling teeth to get studios to transition from VHS to DVD. Sure, the jump to Blu-rays was easier, but that's because they figured they could charge more. This is why I don't own The Avengers yet. I'm not spending $35 for 5 discs when I don't want the 3D Blu-ray (Don't have the TV, yet) or the DVD. (I'm buying a Blu-ray because I have a Blu-ray player. I don't NEED the DVD!) And a quick note about digital copies. Ultraviolet stinks. It's terrible. I equate it to the Verizon attempt at creating its own iTunes for all their phones. Boo V-Cast! I want my digital copy on my own terms. I paid for it.
So, while I'm sure Hollywood is saying the right things about going digital...they're not exactly running towards the future. The audience is ready to go. We've got a rather large group of content creators building something in the digital space that some stubborn, stuck-in-the-past types are trying to ignore. (They will fail) More and more people will gravitate...no, strike that! They're already there!
Stop fighting it, powers that be! Join us!
P.S. - I watch the new Netflix series, "House of Cards", starring Kevin Spacey through this binge viewing technique. (We can thank the blizzard for the time to do this) and it is a fantastic show. Better than what's out there on TV right now. And the best part about it was the fact that I could watch it all at once.