Ownership Is the New Step in Netflix’s Pursuit of Television Domination

© Provided by Bloomberg
© Provided by Bloomberg

For most of its rapid ascent of the TV business, Netflix Inc. has rented shows. Now it wants to own them.Like a major Hollywood studio or competitor HBO, the company will own many of the 20 or more original shows that debut on its streaming service next year, Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said in an interview.

“We’ve continued to expand our creative role on the shows,” Hastings said. “Now we’re taking on ownership and production.”

It’s a new step for Netflix, which in the past has licensed programs from studios like Sony Pictures and Weinstein Co. While fans associate “House of Cards” with Netflix, producer Media Rights Capital owns the hit series. As a result, U.S. viewers can buy past seasons on Amazon.com and Germans can see season three on Sky Deutschland.

While Hastings wouldn’t discuss titles, the coming originals that Netflix bought include “Flaked,” a Will Arnett comedy from the makers of “Arrested Development,” according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because terms aren’t public.

Ownership achieves several objectives for the Los Gatos, California-based company, beyond providing shows others don’t have. It eliminates the sometimes territory-by-territory tracking of streaming rights, and lets Netflix unlock revenue from selling DVDs or license rights to other services.

It also ensures a supply of new material, should conventional TV networks cut back on selling streaming rights to their shows to Netflix.

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Source: Bloomberg | Lucas Shaw