Netflix has had a contentious relationship with the entertainment industry, and to some extent it still does. But that relationship has evolved as TV networks and movie studios have realized they can benefit from one of the pioneers of on-demand entertainment — and binge-viewing.
The Los Gatos company content providers once viewed as a pain in their assets is now sometimes helping them with their bottom line. Not only is Netflix (and its ilk) helping them make money from licensing old TV shows and movies, it has become an option for resurrecting canceled shows.
And because some of you — why, I would never — sometimes forgo meals and forsake responsibilities to view all episodes of, say, Season 1 of shows such as “The Walking Dead” or “Breaking Bad,” Netflix also has changed how some networks think about serialized dramas, according to the Wall Street Journal. Creators of some shows feel they can take more risks because they have Netflix as a potential buyer. “Almost by themselves, they changed the economics of the genre,” David Bank, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, told the WSJ.
Studios also are developing original content for Netflix. We wrote last month that DreamWorks will create original TV shows that will stream on Netflix starting next year. And the WSJ says other studios have either done the same (Lionsgate Television’s “Orange is the New Black” is coming to a Netflix-enabled TV screen near you this week) or are considering it (Warner Bros.).
Still, Netflix’s relationships with creators of shows and movies remain complicated. For example, earlier this year we mentioned that the Fox executive who struck a deal to bring the canceled TV show “Arrested Development” to Netflix still seemed to be coveting something more “network-centric.” And Netflix can’t reach agreements with — or please — everyone. It recently let expire a contract with Nickelodeon, for example, disappointing and irking many a Dora and SpongeBob fan.
Photo of Netflix’s Los Gatos headquarters from Getty Images