The Implications Of The New Netflix Streaming Deal
LIANE HANSEN, Host:
NPR's Digital Culture correspondent Laura Sydell joins us from San Francisco to help us figure out what's going on with our screens. Hi, Laura.
LAURA SYDELL: Hello, Liane.
HANSEN: First of all, do you get Netflix DVDs in the mail?
SYDELL: You know, I used to but I just switched to now I'm only getting the streaming service. Of course, I never just got it in the mail - at least for the last year - I can get it on my iPad, I can get it on my iPhone. I have a Roku box, which is this box they sell that has Netflix on it and an Amazon service. You can get Netflix on your Xbox, you can get Netflix on your PlayStation 3. I mean, Netflix is kind of all over there.
HANSEN: So, why is this competition for Hollywood?
SYDELL: They just want to make sure there isn't just one service, but there's real competition.
HANSEN: And Hollywood wasn't really thinking much about this before Netflix cut its deals, right?
SYDELL: Yeah. Netflix's earlier deals were actually pretty good, but now what's going on is Hollywood is starting to charge Netflix more. So, for example, Amazon is paying about, oh, 60 percent of revenue from whatever gets downloaded they pay to Hollywood. And Netflix had a much better deal - something like 40 percent. That's going to change, it's got to change. Hollywood's not going to give away its content for free.
HANSEN: Netflix is also trying out producing original programming for the first time. There's a series called "House of Cards" that's going to star Kevin Spacey and produced by David Fincher. This seems like a project traditionally more up the alley of HBO.
SYDELL: So, this series, basically, that they have just put together they're hoping is going to increase their subscriptions. They have about 20 million subscribers and growing, say to HBO's 28 million. So, you know, they got to draw you there.
HANSEN: And so everything's converging and nobody wants to get left out.
SYDELL: That's kind of where we are right now. I have to say, as a consumer, it gets confusing. You say I want to watch "The Social Network"; where can I find it, right?
HANSEN: NPR's Laura Sydell in San Francisco. Thank you, Laura.
SYDELL: You're welcome.
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