Life After Netflix

Tuesday, June 3 2014
Life After Netflix

The release of Orange Is The New Black marks the latest addition in what is becoming something of a trend in the video industry.

The subscription video on demand services may have been dominating the headlines when it comes to discussing television programming, while others may have been proclaiming the box set is dead, and that Netflix rules the roost, but physical media is far from dead.

Shows that have aired first on Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video (né LOVEFiLM) in the UK have been extending their life cycle and turning perceived wisdom on its head by performing exceedingly well when released on Blu-ray and DVD.

The common belief would be that the public would binge watch them on their chosen service and then move on to something else. But instead, they’ve shown life beyond svod.

Breaking Bad and House Of Cards have both sold through strongly for SPHE while, more recently, Vikings has been a strong seller for Fox.

Orange Is The New Black, just released by Lionsgate on physical formats following its bow last year as a Netflix original series, looks set to become another distinguished performer.

“Netflix, as with any other viewing platform, serves as an awareness builder for the DVD/BD consumer,” says Lionsgate’s Ben Grunbaum (now at Warner, who completed this interview before his departure), “which as far as we’re seeing is great at building the word of mouth.”

And as well as the awareness that Netflix can generate, it appears as if consumers still like having stuff. “People still want to own, collect things and have a box set,” adds Grunbaum.

It proves that, remarkably quickly, Netflix has become another part of the entertainment mix, another way of consuming. And, much like TV, people will still want to own a copy after having viewed it. As Grunbaum notes: “I would not say that the DVD/BD is solely for people who don’t subscribe to Netflix, that’s like saying people who go to the cinema don’t buy DVDs.”

Where it does make it easier for suppliers is in marketing. Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video’s deep pockets mean awareness has already been created. The likes of Lionsgate can concentrate on other areas. “Regarding marketing,” says Grunbaum, “as these titles are now part of the social culture of we can harness the social media aspect and have some outstanding results for our social campaigns. Twitter is the driving force in this area.”

With second series of House Of Cards and Vikings already available via Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video respectively, with Orange Is The New Black also returning to Netflix (an appearance that also boosts Lionsgate’s release), expect this trend to continue.

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