While some analysts are praising Netflix for aggressively outbidding HBO for the rights to DreamWorks Animation movies, others are already saying that Netflix executives must be dreaming if they think the new deal is going to provide significant damage control after the company alienated its customer base so spectacularly. For one thing, the deal only takes effect in 2013, and customers who are still upset about the recent price hikes probably won’t get too excited about change that is more than a year away. Greg Sandoval from Cnet News offers a cynical (but probably accurate) viewpoint that “it’s going to take much more than a few cartoons to satisfy streaming customers.”
Regardless as to whether Neflix succeeds in recapturing customer goodwill, a historical first has been achieved: this is the first time a major Hollywood content provider has chosen a streaming service over a traditional Pay TV player.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks’ chief executive, believes that in the near future consumers will not distinguish between the two. “We are really starting to see a long-term road map of where the industry is headed,” Mr. Katzenberg told the NYTimes. “This is a game-changing deal.”
This deal may or may not turn out to be good for Netflix or Dreamworks, but it’s good news for us, the consumers. As we continue to move toward flexible arrangements that allow us to pick and choose our desired content, this deal represents another small step in the TV evolution. And the service providers who wish to thrive in this new reality will be the ones who offer greater choice to their customers (even to customers who don’t want to “cut the cord”), as well as seamless mobility.
Consumers want to view their content across all their devices with the ability to start a show on one device, (such as a TV), and finish on another (such as a tablet or mobile phone). While these needs for the most part aren’t yet being met, today’s consumer dreams will soon become a reality.