The video rental and streaming service Netflix has reached 65.55 million subscribers around the world as of July 2015. Netflix, which is known for its streaming of popular television shows from cable networks such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Friends” is taking a new approach to gain popularity—which is the creation of many different original series.
Netflix currently runs popular television shows such as “Orange is the New Black,” “House of Cards,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Bloodline” on their lineup. These four shows earned Netflix a record breaking thirty-four Emmy nominations, which seems unheard of for a streaming service.
This growing popularity has hooked students and teachers alike. Grace Manning, a junior at RJR, loves the comedy “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and comedy-drama “Orange is the New Black.”
“They’re uncensored so they don’t have to be conformed for TV. And you can watch them anytime at your leisure,” Manning said.
Civics and Economics and AP Human Geography teacher Cristopher Wiley is a fan of “House of Cards,” a political drama. Although Wiley is not a huge fan of other Netflix original series, he acknowledges the overall popularity of Netflix.
“I think Netflix is popular because they have a built an advantage in terms of targeting an audience,” Wiley said, “Netflix has the advantage of the fact that everybody who uses Netflix more or less tells them exactly what they want to watch and what they’ve been interested in.”
This growing popularity has been great for Netflix, but Wiley believes that soon prices could rise.
“When you think about the cost that goes into producing a show and paying actors I wonder if people paying eight dollars a month translates into paying the bill for the production costs,” Wiley said. “I think that what’s likely to happen is that Netflix wants to have that following that once they have a foot in the market I think it will clearly start to see the price go up once people are hooked on what they’re watching.”
Now Netflix is planning to take off a few popular television shows and movies just to make space for their original movies and television series.
“Basically it’s a cost cutting measure. Why would you pay some other company for content when you can make your own content? I bet that’s basic economics is at the bottom of it,” Wiley said.
Manning believes that Netflix should “probably stick to television” because the movies could be poorly done. Wiley agrees and praises Netflix for their detailed story arcs.
“I like the format where the series that they make is longer and drawn out,” he says, “It watches like a movie and a couple of sequels as opposed to your thirty minute on and off television show.”
With Netflix growing in popularity, more well know actors and actresses are now taking part—whether in the production or behind the camera. Tina Fey co-created “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and this past summer several actors including Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler and Elizabeth Banks starred in a Netflix series “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” based off of the 2001 film that gained a cult following, “Wet Hot American Summer.”
“You go to where people are watching. If they are not spending money on those kinds of movies. You go to Netflix where they are watching. Again, I think it comes down to those basic nuts and bolts of economics,” Wiley said.