28 February 2024

Netflix Hasn't Had a Hit Since 2013

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CBS chief research officer David Poltrack took a critical look at that question at the UBS Global Media Conference in New York on Monday. Poltrack credited Netflix with striking original TV gold with "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black" in 2013. However, it has been more than one year since Netflix introduced a true new hit program. Poltrack's point was that while Netflix has become a "player in the original content business," the company isn't inherently superior at picking hits, compared to traditional TV.

Netflix's batting average is below that of the pay cable networks as well as the broadcast networks, according to Poltrack. Poltrack didn't mention the fact that 2014, for Netflix, has been more about preparing future series than about introducing them to the public.

But most of the shows that Netflix hopes will be hits haven't come online yet. Netflix is also ramping up its production of original shows for children. It introduced "VeggieTales in the House" last month and has another one, "All Hail King Julien," coming up later this month.

At the same UBS conference on Monday, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos predicted that his company would eventually be the largest producer of original content in the world. But it's taking time to get there.

Poltrack, during his presentation, shared research about Netflix viewing habits. According to the research, Netflix users watched an estimated 1.1 billion hours' worth of Netflix's five original series last year, while streaming repeats of the CBS hit show "NCIS" on its own accounted for 800 million hours of viewing. Poltrack also said that Netflix's original shows added up to just 6.6% of the service's adult viewership -- assuming viewers watched each episode just once.

Much of the rest of the viewing is of network shows licensed by Netflix. Poltrack acknowledged the "frenemy" nature of Netflix for his and other networks: Netflix is a formidable competitor, but they are a valued partner as well.

Click here to access the full article on CNNMoney.


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