Similar to Star Trek in this vein of distribution would be DC and Marvel properties. They are moving into online digital versions of their actual comics. It would be a natural extension of that with live action series or animation.
Well there's an idea. Who says Netflix needs to just imitate any type of TV business, broadcast or cable? Why couldn't they start distributing online comics? Why not do both traditional (still image) comics and some hybrid between still images and animation? Maybe there's a new form of comics to be invented.
Now that's the kind of creative thinking Netflix needs. Their business has been TV and movies to date
. No reason it needs to stay that way. They could distribute ebooks. They could distribute forms of media that haven't even been invented.
And I just read that airlockalpha link, ay yi yi!
Netflix would hope that having "Terra Nova" would be a draw to the service. If it were to simply retain the 7.5 million viewers it had on Fox, having that audience buy service for just three months at current rates would generate about $179.8 million in new revenue.
However, it's likely that many "Terra Nova" viewers who would follow the show are already Netflix subscribers, and others may choose not to follow it to a new venue. Even if the new-subscriber figures were based on a more reasonable 2 million viewers, that would equate to $47.9 million for three months service.
I really hope Netflix doesn't think for one millisecond that very many people who might watch Terra Nova because it's free and easily available from the comfort of their couches would pay good money to watch it, or even take the trouble to seek it out. It's not at all the kind of grabby-niche "gotta have it!" type show that can induce people to pay for content on the internet, which is notoriously hard.
Netflix really needs to remember it has built its service to date by being a cheaper alternative to video stores. I'm sure I'm not the only person who bailed on Blockbuster with its $5-per-video rentals in favor of Netflix, where I've been averaging more like $1.50.
That's a very different motive than someone who isn't a current Netflix subscriber, and says, omg! they have X! I have to see X! It's extraordinarily difficult to induce people to pay for content on the internet, where everyone is trained to get things for free. Netflix needs to be very careful about jumping from their rational, cheapskate-driven business into a business where the motive is driven by fan obsession.
And once again, we're back to Star Trek
as the answer. (Or a Game of Thrones
-type novel series.) Netflix just needs to go find the type of content that does elicit a true fan-obsession reaction. Terra Nova
ain't it, but there's a lot out there that could be.
It might be a loss-lead Netflix may consider worth taking, considering the attention it will get for producing an original Steven Spielberg series.
If they're willing to take a loss on a show just to build their brand, they should set their sights much higher than a drivelly broadcast reject!