Posted: Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

We subscribe to Netflix, and use it on a regular basis. Typically we watch an episode of Burn Notice, followed by Longmire. For Burn Notice, we’re just getting through the third season but there are over 100 episodes to watch. As for Longmire, we’re watching new episodes.  While our viewing habits may not be that interesting, it is however, an exciting fact that new episodes of Longmire exist. The cable company that originally put the show on the air cancelled it. Netflix scooped up the rights to it, produced new episodes, and instantly had viewers like us.


Evidently Netflix can create a profit where the cable company couldn’t. Overnight Netflix is upsetting the media business just as Apple did with the iPod and iTunes. Instead of business as usual of offering a small number of products that do exceptionally well, they will offer a multitude of products, which together get enough views to make the business successful in a way cable companies aren't.

How many Longmire viewers must Netflix have for the series to be profitable? I don’t know, but because they simply stream the service, and can put all episodes up at once, they can make money with a lot fewer viewers than cable! This allows the company to offer many more shows, which draws a wide audience of viewers who can seek out the content they want.

On cable, there’s just one slot open every Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. If the show in that slot isn’t drawing viewers, it must be replaced. On Netflix, if a show happens to draw fewer viewers, that’s OK. It didn’t displace any other show to be there!

One more exciting bit of news,  Netflix will soon be moving to Hollywood and opening a mega filming studio. The company is also pushing into new territory. It just released its first feature-length film, Beast of No Nation. Interestingly, Netflix didn't make the film. It was made by an independent group for about $6 million, and Netflix bought the distribution rights.


Because of the subject matter, large studios didn’t think it would draw big theater audiences, even though it's considered a contender for an Oscar Award, so they passed. They were right. Netflix released the film in 31 theaters as well as online. To be considered for an Oscar, it had to be released in theaters. The film earned a mere $1,635 per theater on opening day, which is abysmal. Well, it is if you’re a major studio relying on ticket sales at theaters.

If you’re Netflix, then it really doesn’t matter. The film received fabulous reviews, which means that the streaming company’s 60-plus million subscribers are more likely to hear about it and click on it. If it wins an Oscar, then the buzz will only grow louder!  We will just have to wait to Oscar Season to find out. 

So the next time you sign on to Netflix, know that you’re part of the digital nation. You're helping the company break the chains of cable and offer a platform to independent producers… even if you choose to watch nothing but your old favorites.

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