Original Content

I went on a week-long vacation last month. My main goal was to get away, enjoy the outdoors, spend time with my boyfriend and generally “disconnect” from the real world. My days were spent outdoors attempting to be “one with nature” but, that idea of disconnecting didn’t happen as well as I’d hoped. While I did manage to keep my everyday life at bay (i.e. work, school, routine), I managed to somehow discover a new show on Netflix called “Orange is the New Black.” I spent evenings back at the hotel watching all 13 episodes of the first season.

I had heard about “Orange is the New Black” from a few friends and had read about it online. But I didn’t quite get what all the hype was about. And then I watched it. And now I am hooked.

But this post isn’t about the show. It’s about the bigger idea here. It’s about innovation.

Prior to watching the show, I had thought of Netflix simply as a streaming service that provided previously aired tv content and movies at my convenience. While that alone is a novel idea, it just didn’t draw me in much. I mean…Blockbuster was cool, but their lack of innovation led to their demise. And after the Netflix snafu a few years back, my perception of the company wasn’t exactly pristine.

Fast forward to my vacation, and I am now officially a Netflix subscriber. What took me so long, right? But really, “What took Netflix so long!?”

I subscribed to Netflix because now I have a show to look forward to. One that isn’t offered anywhere else. It has an amazing storyline and most importantly: it is original content. This isn’t the company’s first foray into original content; recently they also aired a U.S. version of House of Cards. And that target audience ate it up.

Why does this matter, you ask?

Well, Netflix just blew past its competitors (namely, Hulu) and has begun competing with the likes of HBO. This Forbes article sums it up pretty well. While Netflix will continue to provide various titles (albeit curated) for its subscribers, it now offers something for that other group (like me) who doesn’t necessarily see an added benefit to paying for shows that don’t interest them much. By focusing on innovation and making their way into original content, they have grown their consumer base and really proven that a company can cater to a variety of customer segments. They got me, didn’t they?

What are your thoughts on the Netflix strategy? Do you see any areas for improvement?

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