02 Jul Netflix is moving television beyond time-slots and national markets [The Economist]
June 28, 2018 | In the heyday of the talkie, Louis B. Mayer, head of the biggest studio, was Hollywood’s lion king. In the 1980s, with the studio system on the wane, “superagent” Michael Ovitz was often described as the most powerful man in town. Now the honour falls to someone who used to run a video store in Phoenix, Arizona. Ted Sarandos joined Netflix, a DVD-rental firm, in 2000.
In 2011, when Netflix was first moving into streaming video, he bought “House of Cards”, a television drama starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and produced by, among others, the film director David Fincher, for $100m. The nine-figure statement of intent was widely derided as profligate, showing that the streamer might be a source of cash but scarcely offered serious competition. A mail-order video store could hardly be expected to take on networks and studios which took decades to build and were notoriously difficult to run. Instead it has become an industry in and of itself.
Read more on The Economist.