Hollywood's Netflix Anxiety Subsiding
Netflix, previously the bane of content owners, is now wearing a halo of approval. What changed? Netflix is now willing to part with more of its burgeoning revenue for content acquisition.
One notable example is Time Warner, whose CEO Jeff Bewkes once referred to Netflix as the Albanian army. As in: "Is the Albanian army going to take over the world?" Then Netflix paid Time Warner $200,000 per episode for 100 episodes of Nip/Tuck. Now Bewkes refers to Netflix with "fondness."
Les Moonves of CBS is even warmer. Formerly he was "trying to see what Netflix is." Now, in an earnings call quoted by The Wall Street Journal, he enthuses: "Gee, it's great to be in business with them and they are terrific."
Media executives still have concerns about Netflix. Some are distrustful of new media in general even if they're willing to accept big checks for content licensing, especially if their competitors are accepting big checks.
Others are more concerned that the growth of streaming may lead to more "cord cutting" by cable and satellite subscribers. While both Netflix streaming and cable subscriptions are growing, Netflix is clearly in the lead, adding six million new U.S. subscribers in the past six months versus 552,000 for pay-TV operators.