Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Netflix long-term view - and multi-service discovery

Netflix recently published their Long Term View for their investors, and it makes for interesting, exciting and encouraging reading about the future of television. Yes, it's an investor relations document that's a pleasure to read! And here at Tank Top Towers we agree with almost all of it - though there's a big piece of the puzzle omitted from their discussion, and we'll come to that shortly.

They say loads of things about the state of television today that have us vigorously nodding our heads.
"Finding good things to watch isn't easy or enjoyable."
"People don't love the linear TV experience where channels present programs at particular times on non-portable screens with complicated remote controls."
"While Internet TV is only a very small percent of video viewing today, we think it will grow every year."
Netflix is increasingly focused on exclusive content - like the recent, excellent remake of House of Cards. "We are about fantastic content that is increasingly only available on Netflix."

But they acknowledge that they have "competitors-for-content". A lot of the video on demand services are creating, commisioning or licensing their own exclusive content. As Netflix says, "Consumers will choose and consume from multiple options. Generally, cable and Internet networks have mostly exclusive content against each other."

So we'll have to use multiple services to get access to the full range of high-quality entertainment that's available.  But one thing Netflix don't talk about is how consumers will find great content to watch without the pain of trawling through the different interfaces on their favourite services.

We think this question of multi-service discovery will be increasingly important. Consumers will demand easy and enjoyable interfaces for finding great content across the different services they use.

Like Tank Top Movies.

For more on our view of the future of television, check out this presentation on "Killing the time grid", or even better, come and hear Liz speaking on "The trouble with television" at Digital Shoreditch.