While it might be premature to declare that the future of TV belongs to original online programming and that alone, the day when just such a declaration can be made has maybe drawn a little closer. And that’s because Netflix seems to have delivered some impressive results with its most recent production.
Chances are you’ve heard plenty about House of Cards, the Washington-set political thriller based on the old BBC mini-series of the same name, starring Kevin Spacey, two-time Oscar-winning actor and artistic director of Spectrecom’s very near Waterloo neighbour, the Old Vic.
The show’s production budget was reputedly $100million, and so ubiquitous has been the print and video marketing onslaught in support of it that the cash available to its marketing team must have been similarly sizeable.
That publicity campaign culminated a fortnight ago with the launch of the show; all 13 of its episodes being made simultaneously available to Netflix’s 30million-plus subscribers worldwide.
Since then, Netflix has been somewhat cautious in its lauding of House of Cards’ success, simply revealing that it has been the service’s most-watched show ever (which, given the mammoth budget and involvement of such Hollywood luminaries as star Spacey and executive producer David Fincher, was surely the least of its expectations).
However, thanks to an industrious spot of research from financial services company Cowen and Company, a more detailed picture has emerged, and the results would seem to spell good news in Netflix’s efforts to use original content as a means of retaining its precious subscribers.
Of the 1,200 people surveyed, 28% were Netflix subscribers and a further 18% had access to a Netflix streaming account. Of those respondents, roughly 10% had watched House of Cards, taking in an average of six episodes each.
Taken in tandem with total Netflix-user stats, that would suggest around 3million subscribers have so far checked out House of Cards, with 18million episodes of the show watched in all. Not bad, eh?
But given that many pundits view Netflix’s original programming as a highly-specialised form of video marketing, designed to boost the brand’s clout and cachet with Joe and Josephine Public, the stat likely to trigger the greatest celebrations in Netflix HQ is that 86% of respondents said that having watched House of Cards, they would be ‘less likely’ to cancel their subscription.
Those subscribers are obviously the lifeblood of a service such as Netflix, and once they’ve been securely hooked up to the drip-drip-drip of monthly fees, anything it can do to keep the money coming is worth the effort.
And to offer a more Spectrecom-centric view of Netflix’s endeavour, we’ve seen a lot in the last couple of years how video marketing companies have leveraged entirely original content as bait, to make potential clients actively want to work with them because of the quality and success they’ve enjoyed courtesy of these ‘originals’.
Want to see more of what Spectrecom has to offer in terms of creative campaigns? Then take a look at our showreel.