Revisiting The House Of Cards Model
Was Netflix’s decision to release every episode of House of Cards at once the right one? I’m no expert, but I’d say so. After not having an active Netlifx account and re-signing up just to watch the [exclusive] show, I have now continued my subscription an extra two months and I doubt I’ll be canceling it again anytime soon.
I finished the 13 episode “season” over the course of a week and thoroughly enjoyed the show. I binged on it because there was no reason not to. There aren’t water cooler moments about specific episodes any more, but rather about specific seasons lumped together as one big arc. Since the details of House of Cards release first came out, I maintained that there was no reason Netflix shouldn’t release all the episodes at once and – if they were already filmed – to artificially hold them back would be crazy.
The argument for not releasing all the episodes at once was that people would just sign up for a single month [$7.99], finish the show and cancel. Meaning that Netflix would lose out on more money if they had opted to stretch 13 episodes over two or more months. I’ve already proved to myself – that beyond laziness – people will still continue to stay signed up. Even still, isn’t $8 for a single month from someone who wasn’t paying before still better than $0?
If House of Cards, or Netflix by association, has a problem, it’s the 1+ minute of opening credits starting each episode, it’s not the release schedule for their original content. There’s no reason others shouldn’t adopt the new release model, focusing their efforts on creating and maintaining quality content. Users will come and stay.