Whoa.

Netflix are set to upset the apple cart in a serious way with a report filed by Deadline Hollywood revealing that they are set to launch a $100 million original TV series produced by Kevin Spaceys production company, with the pilot to be helmed by David Fincher. House of Cards (a re-make of the UK series) is set to be greenlit to series (bypassing a pilot) with a commitment of two seasons, which should yield 26 episodes.

Netflix had outbid traditional cable outlets, including HBO and AMC, to land the series.

With Netflix delivering streaming content of movies, TV series, and now an originally produced series, they are establishing themselves as a direct competitor to premium cable channels in the US, only without the very costly cable television subscription fee. For an all-you-can-eat cost of US$7.99 per month, subscribers can access the massive Netflix library which has content deals struck with most of the dominant distribution players.

Netflix can be streamed onto home computers, but is also available through game system portals including the Wii, PS3, and Xbox360. It can also be streamed through major brand DVD players, internet enabled TV’s, Roku, and via iPad/iPhone. With a decent broadband connection, there is really little difference between watching cable TV and having a Netflix subscription.

In getting into the Original Programming market, viewers without a Netflix account may now see a reason to invest in the service. If they can keep their shows exclusive to the Netflix platform (ignoring physical media releases), viewers have no choice but to subscribe if they wish to enjoy their original series. It’s a canny move by Netflix and one that solidifies them as a premium content destination.

Affordable and legal TV shows produced for a connected viewing audience? I think Netflix may be onto something with this.

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