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Altering Global TV

26 Sep, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix has exclusive pay-TV access to Disney’s movies starting in 2017, but by then the subscription streaming pioneer might not need them.

The SVOD service currently characterizes itself as an agitator of the TV landscape, specifically targeting how people watch episodic programing and offering original content and programming that is targeted to local tastes. 

With an increasing number of viewers time-shifting TV shows, Netflix believes those eyeballs will soon watch video delivered over the Web. Indeed, consumers are spending 64% more time each month watching Internet video — much of that SVOD — than they did last year, according to Nielsen. 

Spurring that growth, Netflix encouraged online binge viewing by making available at launch every episode of a series — a perk previously afforded only to the show’s packaged-media boxed set.

As Netflix ups spending on original and third-party fare (expected to top $8 billion in streaming content obligations at the end of Q3) as a way of expanding the brand, it has launched a new social media experiment. 

It created a website that divulges major plot twists in TV shows. Dubbed “Living With Spoilers” (spoilers.netflix.com), the site will run through the upcoming fall primetime TV season. Netflix reportedly got the idea after 20% of respondents in a self-commissioned consumer survey said they had no problem divulging a show’s plot twist with others. Another 94% said they would continue to watch a show even if hearing about a plot twist. Another 13% said they become interested in a TV show when hearing about a plot twist. Then again, 54% said they want spoiler alerts before key elements of a story are revealed.

"In the old days spoilers would just extinguish a show, and you wouldn't watch it," Grant McCracken, a cultural anthropologist working for Netflix, told The Huffington Post. "These days, spoilers can actually end up recruiting for the show. They send you a message that it's really good — that people really care about it and that you might want to watch it too."

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