It’s impressive how in less than a decade we’ve seen such a huge shift in how we watch TV. With broadband speeds getting faster and spreading out to even the most remote locations almost anyone can now get Netflix Instant in their homes. We now have hundreds (or more than likely thousands) of hours of movies and television shows readily available to us 24/7. The problem is that while streaming has been upping it’s game every year basic television has been clinging to the past. Let’s talk about how these channels can look at what Netflix is doing and implement some minor changes to maintain relevancy in the modern era.
-Creative Control = Creative People-
The best thing Netflix has done is pulling in some of the greatest talent in front and behind the camera working today. House of Cards is a prime example of how this works. In the first season you had an Academy Award winning actor (Kevin Spacey), an Academy Award winning writer (Eric Roth), and an Academy Award nominated director (David Fincher) all working on a television show. Television has always been stigmatized as a step down from film. So how has Netflix broke this stigma? They’ve given these talented people more leeway to bring their vision to the screen. Artists crave creative control and often thrive when they have little to no restrictions put upon them.
-Repeal the One and Done Season Mentality-
I can not tell you how many shows I’ve fallen in love with only to have them yanked away from me after only a single season. If a series isn’t a hit immediately odds are it will not make it another year. This is a major problem facing single season shows. We fall in love with these characters over the course 13+ episodes. More often than not their stories are never wrapped up and the audience is left with questions. Netflix on the other hand is making deals for two seasons of a show right off the bat. This allows a show to find it’s audience over a year and gain a real fandom. It also allows creators to prepare a finale if their story doesn’t make it past the second season.
-Improve Their Websites and it’s Software-
Almost every TV channel has a website where you can view recent episodes of shows. I’ve found that the majority of these sites have some of the worst video playback software. Unlike Youtube or Hulu these sites have spotty quality, a 50/50 success at working, and even more ads than Youtube and Hulu combined. If they overhauled this software and make it much more user friendly there would be a huge spike in web traffic to their sites.
-Make Older Series Easily Accessible-
Netflix not only has great original content, but they’re working hard at providing catalogue titles from many different TV channels. How great is it that we have all nine seasons of The X-Files and most of The Twilight Zone available to us to watch whenever we want? Answer: It’s beyond incredible. If you’re in the mood to binge a series or looking for a specific episode you can watch at your leisure. Since physical media is falling out of favor TV networks need to utilize the Internet more effectively to monetize these older shows. Imagine if ABC allowed all of the TGIF series to be readily available to consumers. I know I’d re-watch Full House and Family Matters as soon as possible. I’d even check out Benson to see if it’s as good as I remember it being.
-Adapt or Die-
All of the points made pretty much can be summed up in those three words. Cable and satellite TV are slowly on the decline. Consumers want to be able to access content on their schedule. So let’s take the next step forward on our own rather than being dragged kicking and screaming into the present the way the music industry was forced to do. As usual, what are your thoughts? Do you still have cable or are you streaming exclusive? What old TV series would you binge-watch given the chance?