Ted Sarandos

Orange is the New Black - Crazy Eyes

The battle of the online distributors of original streaming content continues this week, with Netflix not to be outdone by news of Amazon’s plans for exclusive movie production and Overstock.com’s unbelievable announcement to get into this market overall. From the National Association of Television Program Executives this week comes word, via Variety, that Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos is now aiming for 20 scripted shows a year. Part of that goal is to offer more diversity, meaning maybe not everything will be as favorable to those of us enjoying hits like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Maybe there’ll be some broader sitcoms in there, possibly some bland procedurals, things like that. After all, the most popular programs on network TV are hardly the most critically acclaimed and award-worthy. Surely Big Bang Theory junkies have Netflix subscriptions, too. And they might be into the weird comedy of Wet Hot American Summer. But while this was hardly an official announcement of any kind, I’d like it to be a springboard for making a case for Netflix to also get the ball rolling on quality unscripted shows. This is a company responsible for many Americans discovering they actually do enjoy documentaries. Their streaming service has hundreds of essential nonfiction film titles at any given time (as ranked by me at Nonfics) and they’ve done a spectacular job of producing and acquiring doc titles, proven by their second Oscar nomination picked up last week for Virunga.



It’s been a standard argument from the piracy community that if there were better access to movies and TV shows online, there would be a lot less illegal downloading. It turns out they now have a powerful ally in delivering that message. According to a recent interview with Stuff (via TorrentFreak), Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said “The best way to combat piracy isn’t legislatively or criminally but by giving good options,” and he has the internal data to support that mindset. According to Sarandos, every time Netflix enters a new territory, its numbers go up while Torrent numbers go down. There are a lot of conclusions to draw here, but Sarandos himself has the money quote: “One of the side effects of growth of content is an expectation to have access to it. You can’t use the Internet as a marketing vehicle and then not as a delivery vehicle.” In other words, there’s a new nation of fans that are asking why they see a movie’s 2 teaser trailers, 5 full trailers, 10 posters, 30 character posters, commentary, interviews, set footage and hi-res official pics online, but can’t see the movie there.

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published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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