HBO is Giving NetFlix Serious Competition
HBO is giving NetFlix a run for its money. It’s Game of Thrones series and it’s original programming like “The Young Pope” are gaining millions of viewers in America and around the world.
NetFlix, the streaming giant that is now spreading its availability around the world, is feeling the pinch.
A NetFlix insider, who only spoke under the condition of anonymity confessed: “I think NetFlix, if we really look at it’s growth over the past two years, is becoming something too big, too quickly. NetFlix is becoming a kind-of monster, that we have to learn how to tame and feed. Otherwise, we become it’s food.”
NetFlix and HBO: Spectacular Growth versus Careful Progress
NetFlix carved out new territory when it’s DVD-rental service hit markets and, more recently, when most of it’s shows became streaming. HBO, with more years in the business, appears to be more careful in it’s approach.
Rather than take the risk of ordering multiple seasons of a show, HBO prefers to tell the story in seven episodes. This style is similar to watching a trilogy of films that are 2 hours in length each.
Considering the competition for audience views, it’s a risky proposition. But if the numbers are any consideration, it’s a risk that works.
HBO borrows from a Model that Works
“It reminds me of watching a mini-series, the ones from the late 1980’s that the networks used to broadcast,” says Alex Matyon, a freelance entertainment writer based in upstate New York. “Although NetFlix has a veritable plethora of TV shows and movies, I prefer HBO because, even though it’s a smaller selection, it’s higher quality. It’s the difference between going to a restaurant that has a huge menu of mediocre-tasting food, to a restaurant that has a smaller menu with all the food that’s deliciously prepared.”
Recently, HBO premiered the miniseries The Young Pope, which got an average of 4.7 million viewers per episode. Considering that the show was minimally marketed, this was a success.
The Night Of, which premiered last year, proved to be a breakout hit for the network, getting around 7 million viewers each episode.
Judging from the recent successful string of HBO shows, all of which are original programming, HBO appears to be a serious contender for dominating the future of streaming entertainment.
HBO launched HBO Now in March 2015. As of this month, HBO Now has over 2 million paying subscribers in the U.S. alone. The move on HBO’s part to begin offering standalone subscriptions for its content has been followed by a number of similar networks, like Showtime and CBS, but HBO so far appears to be the most successful.
Deep within it’s vaults, HBO’s contains a goldmine of old shows and movies, that appeal to older viewers who often invite their children to join them in watching the programs as well. This, plus a solid offering of news shows are compelling reasons that are turning myriads of viewers to HBO and HBO Go to get their latest entertainment appetite satiated.
Even with HBO’s astounding growth, NetFlix remains a force to be reckoned with. In the fourth quarter of 2016, 5.1 million international subscribers joined the NetFlix army of viewers.
In a way, HBO has focused on a boutique market–one in which a discerning viewer with a specific taste will return to his favorite brand of ice cream over and over again. Although the ice cream may be twice as much, think Haagen-Daaz, it’s high quality ingredients and natural flavor will linger long after the cheap price is forgotten.