Monday, August 14, 2006

The Tail Has Two Heads

Promotion Launches Six Weeks Prior to Broadcast Premieres and Includes
Preview Trailers of Fall Drama Lineup-

BURBANK, Calif., July 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In a
first-of-its-kind promotion, NBC and Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), the
world's largest online movie rental service, today announced they will
offer Netflix's approximately five million subscribers an advanced look at
the premiere episodes of NBC's anticipated new drama series "Studio 60 on
the Sunset Strip" and "Kidnapped." The shows will be made available in
their entirety, six weeks before their respective broadcast premieres, on a
special DVD created for Netflix that will also include preview trailers of
the network's other new fall drama series. The announcement was made by
John Miller, chief marketing officer for NBC Universal Television Group,
and Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix.

So the first I heard of this was watching TV last night and NBC was advertising one of their new series for the fall schedule "Kidnapped" (hmmm weak plot but whatever....)

What was very interesting to me however was the tie-in with Netflix.

So basically what NBC are offering is instead of waiting for the fall season you can watch each show 6 weeks before it goes to air by ordering it through Netflix.

Each week the next episode will be available for rental (I wonder how many of these they expect to rent....and what will be the falloff rate for each episode). Especially as it doesn't cost you any extra but will take up one of your 'slots'.

For those of you who dont know about Netflix, basically it is dvd rental same as you would get from your local blockbuster however they mail the dvd's to you and then you return them after viewing.

The 'neat' part about it is their pricing model, you pay an amount for each dvd you want to have in your posesion at any one particular time, not how many you watch eg. for $17.99 per month you can have 3 dvd's in your home, each time you return one, they send you the next dvd in your list. Postage is included, so it makes sense for you to swap them out on a regular basis as soon as you have watched them as you still pay the flat rate per month even if you dont return any.

I'm very interested to see how this works, what kind of numbers they get for the 6 week advance preview, especially how this may affect the fall season ratings.

Does this mean it validates Mark Cuban's business model about releasing movies at the cinema, dvd to own, and paytv simultaneously

If you are not familiar with it Mark Cuban introduced this last year with his Landmark Cinema chain, selling the dvd via retail and screening it on HDnet his paytv channel all on the same release date - this first film was Bubble by Steven Sodaberg

Also if you dont know who Mark Cuban is then check out this article
He was a dotcom eloper (eg. got out at the right time) and has bought a few things including the Dallas Mavericks and a plane or two.

My next question soon before Kidnapped is on Bit torrent?

And...what the heck are they going to do with all those Kidnapped dvds once they are returned? (aol furniture anyone?)


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