Netflix, Seth Godin, and House of Cards

March 4, 2013

it’s not often that I disagree with Godin, but this is one of those times.

The other day he wrote that Netflix made a mistake in releasing House of Cards as a full season.

He made some valid points, but here’s what he’s missing.

  1. By releasing the entire season at once, Netflix gives the early adopters a chance to confirm their belief that the show is worth watching.
  2. When everyone else only releases one show at a time, Netflix does something different (isn’t that the essence of marketing?) and goes big/different by doing the whole season.
  3. The buzz comes from the fact that you CAN get whole season at once which means you are more likely to talk about it…which people do/have.
  4. The conversation makes Netflix relevant again. We’re all used to it, but it’s not about the original content so much as (and this happened to me yesterday), you can only get it on Netflix.

Then, throw in the fact that series is EXCELLENT and you have a winner.

Maybe, down the road, after Netflix has earned street cred as a viable content producer, they do what Godin suggests and drip it out. After they’ve built up a permission-based asset of folks who want their original content and are willing to wait for it and promote it, but  even then, maybe not.

Netflix, in many ways, is about “On-Demand” or “Instant” and what they are saying is that they know their customers want the entire thing now. We don’t want to wait for next week’s episode…that’s the old model of TV.

In this House of Cards move, Netflix is (and has for me) acquiring significant mindshare and changing viewing habits all at once.

Now, when I think “I’d like to watch a show,” I don’t turn on the TV, I flip on the next episode of House of Cards.

You should as well.

Seems like Godin isn’t the only one who was wrong on this.




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