Lilyhammer – I Hope This Is The Future
Netflix has provided over the top (OTT) video streaming via its “Watch Instantly” service for quite sometime, but until yesterday there was little to fundamentally differentiate that service (besides convenience, and the need for high-speed Internet) from a trip to the video store or the mailbox. Introducing original programming changed that – moving the company in a more interesting, welcome, and potentially disruptive direction.
This shift isn’t new news of course, with even “old media” firms like HBO taking their ball home last month but the most promising thing is how well “Lilyhammer” delivered the “TV” experience exactly how I want to watch TV. I don’t want to comment too much on the show; clearly the concept is a bit derivative, the pilot (like most) a little rough around the edges, but with much of the pipe laid in the first episode the second (as far as I got last night) showed potential. The main point however, is that Netflix gave me HD video, 5.1 audio, and closed captions without disruptive advertising in the same convenient non-linear format that until now required a PC based DVR and patience. I know that it would be overly optimistic to expect that all of the content suited to this delivery model will make it onto Neflix (or whatever platform(s) come next) anytime soon, but I really hope that this is the future and that instead of fighting it, content producers will embrace it removing unnecessary layers in distribution – increasing end-user value and allowing them to capture more of it themselves.