From the Web: An Idea for Netflix

An article on the Hollywood Reporter from Kim Masters talks about Netflix and its impact on Hollywood. To summarize the article, it’s talking about how much money Netflix is spending buying up original content. Also how the company is changing the game in how things are done.

An interesting read on the new giant in town. Will Hulu and others take a similar route? That remains to be seen. One thing I think they ought to consider is combining different entertainment streams into their basic pricing scheme.

Imagine Netflix, Hulu or others offering books and gaming for the same or slightly higher monthly pricing? Might even be able to add music in there but I must admit I do not know that industries revenue means as well.

Where Amazon and some of the current choices are aggregators of most, if not all types of offerings in those realms, Netflix and the others should be selective. I will talk about the book publishing idea, since that is near and dear to my calling.

If I were at Netflix, I would suggest acquiring a book publishing company. The goal of this endeavor would be two fold. Find and publish original works and acquire the rights to include quality published works.

My model would include the ability to read online any book that is listed on the service. Maybe increase the cost of the basic service or include that as a higher level service offering. Downloading ebooks or ordering physical copies would cost more per ordered copy.

Downloaded ebooks would be very low priced as they really do not differentiate themselves from the online copy. Physical copies on the other hand, should include additional items in  that would entice customers to order. Something like additional internal artwork, background data, collectible type bindings would be included.

Having a publishing house on board would allow Netflix to help the author’s they select to turn out quality books.  Acquired rights to already published works would probably go for online copy or ebooks unless physical copy rights have been returned to the author.

This service would pay the author for the rights of including their book on the Netflix service for a determined amount of time. For original works, Netflix could use their publishing arm to place in other services as their business needs direct.  The author would also get paid a small fee per book read during the period. At the end of the right’s period, Netflix could decide if they wish to continue renting the rights at the current price, a renegotiated price or drop the book altogether.

I would assume some of the original works would be retained for an initial 3 years or so with full rights to Netflix. They might offer exclusively on their service for one year and depending on the popularity, place on other services as well or print for book stores.

The additional advantage of this type of offering is the ability for Netflix to find content that could be turned into Netflix original movie/tv content.Both the original works and acquired published works could be reviewed.

So yes, for authors, more selective and not an option for everyone. For those that get it right, it could be a nice alternative to the traditional publishers or being a new pebble in the ocean that is Amazon.