Netflix is about to move from playing, or streaming, the content of others to becoming a player in the content industry itself. According to a report in Deadline Hollywood
, the company is on the verge of finalizing a deal for a new drama series produced by and starring Kevin Spacey called "House of Cards," for as much as $100 million. The director would be David Fincher, whom you might recognize from a certain movie called "The Social Network."
The deal hasn't been finalized yet, according to the report, but Netflix has reportedly already outbid a number of rivals, including several major cable networks, such as HBO and AMC. Cable only series seem to run around 13 episodes or so per season, and the report states this series is no different. What is different is that Netflix has already signed for two seasons, or 26 episodes.
Although Deadline Hollywood's source was pretty clear about the terms of the deal, a later report by the New York Times said
An executive close to the negotiations confirmed the report that Netflix had entered the bidding for the show. There was still considerable uncertainty Tuesday about the terms of the potential deal, and a Netflix spokesman declined to comment.
The Wall Street Journal
's source, however, said the deal was likely to fall far short of the $100 million that Deadline Hollywood source stated.
Netflix currently streams about 61 percent of digital movies, according to a very recent NPD survey
, it's not going to stand still, not with rivals like Amazon.com launching their own initiatives that could have a real impact on market share. Amazon.com recently tied free video streaming of content to its Prime service; to make it really work, Amazon.com needs to add far more content, though.
Meanwhile, although Netflix does have partnerships with set-top box manufacturers such as Roku and plenty of Netflix ready TVs as well, much of the public won't be able to watch its series on a screen larger than a PC screen. That doesn't mean it won't work, however, as quite a few people have decided to cut the cord and rely on online video only.