Internet Streaming Providers: Cable Cutters And Binge Watching

House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, Arrested Development, Game of Thrones, The Wire, The Sopranos, True Detective and many more.  What do these shows have in common? netflix

HBO-Go-pngThese are just a few of the original series that are produced by internet streaming media providers (Netflix and HBO Go in this case).  In their article Creative Labor David Hesmondhalgh and Sarah Baker discuss creative autonomy saying,  “This general erosion of the authority of PSB (public service broadcasts) means that managers are much less likely to take risks when it comes to supporting creative autonomy.” (99).  While this is true, one of the luxuries that streaming providers can rely on is subscriptions for the majority of their income.  Comparing a Netflix producer to a regular television producer, the Netflix producer does not have to worry about pleasing advertisers or bigger network officials.  Instead these providers are able to focus on creating solid uncensored material that people enjoy.

This all ties back to the whole idea that Hesmondhalgh and Baker bring up about creative management and creative autonomy in chapter four.  Essentially the whole idea of this is having the creative freedom to make good content and presumably under good working conditions.  When this takes place all the employees are happy and I’d argue that’s where the best content comes from.   PWCMashableThere is an increasing demand in these streaming services and an increase in what are called cable “cord cutters,” people leaving their cable service providers and instead using internet streaming services to provide their entertainment.  I believe by producing these shows the integrity of these artists is maintained, because instead of having advertisers over watch scripts in the making, while providing un-knowledgable input to the creative process, it’s just a group of creatives brainstorming to create the best possible product. The CEO of Netflix came out with an article yesterday saying he believes television will be internet based in 10-20 years.

Now one difficult of making good quality shows is budget.  Cindy Holland who is the head of Netflix’s original content oversees Netflix’s $3 billion budget.  This began in 2011 as a $100 million budget spent on the ongoing show House of Cards which has now accumulated 98 award nominations across a really diverse platform of nominations. (Source)  The whole point of this is to basically say that we as consumers are moving more toward this idea of internet streaming as opposed to television mainly because of the content that is being produced as well as because of the convenience.  By switching toward these Netflix created and HBO created type shows by companies not worrying about pleasing advertisers the creative process is put into action.  While at first it was a risk for Netflix to produce these shows, it now is not because they’ve successfully established a trust between the consumer and the producers.

With all of this being said, while many of these producers and people working on the sets for these shows are full time employees, many of them still are hired on a show-by-show basis, something that all three articles I’ve referenced in my posts discuss when it comes to the creative industry.  So while the content is great, for some it makes a difference in terms of security but for some it doesn’t.

Final Thought: I hope someone from HBO or Netflix hires me.

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