First Netflix Original Series Now ShowingNetflix has just thrown the first punch in the war on cable. The company, long known for licensing content to stream, now has its own series online, LillyHammer. And any Netflix member can enjoy the whole first season right now, ad free.
What is Lillyhammer?Lillyhammer is a show about a New York mobster who, after entering witness protection, is moved to Lillyhammer, Norway. There he promptly drops back into the criminal life, this time with him on top. And all on the US Government’s dime.
This is an ambitious show, given that it was made, first and foremost, for the web. While there have been a few web-based series given a decent budget, this is, as Ted Sandaros, Chief Content Manager at netflix, noted, “the most ambitious original show to premiere online in history.” They also released the entire first season at once, rather than stringing the 8 episodes out over months. Which is a markedly different take on TV watching than what you will find anywhere else.
Why is this Notable?Beyond the fact that the show looks entertaining, this is a sign that times are changing. TV content has long been dominated by the channels they air on, with the companies running them keeping everything under lock and key to stifle competition. Netflix and Hulu have to pay exorbitant fees to get access to TV shows, often with their fee nearly covering the cost of the show’s production in the first place.
But as the media companies have gotten sick of the shenanigans, they have started producing their own content. And while the market has long been small, Netflix’s original Lillyhammer might just be the first show to prove, once and for all, that online distribution of shows does work for original content. A decade from now, it might be cable and satellite TV providers that have to license the content, not the other way around.