Kevin Spacey urges TV, film industry to revamp distribution methods

By on August 27, 2013, 11:30 AM
netflix, house of cards, kevin spacey, original series, tv industry, film industry

Television networks and production companies could learn a thing or two from Netflix according to Kevin Spacey. During a recent chat at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, the actor said Netflix has demonstrated they have learned the lesson that the music industry didn’t – give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in at a reasonable price and they’ll more than likely pay for it rather than pirate it.

The division between traditional film, television and other programming is becoming less apparent as each day passes. As an example, Spacey suggested a movie is no less than a “film” just because a user watches it at home rather than in a movie theater. Any way you slice it, it’s all still content – a story designed to entertain an audience.

Spacey is somewhat of an authority on the matter as his Netflix original series House of Cards was groundbreaking for a number of reasons. Not only was it one of Netflix’s first big budget shows, the first season was also released with all episodes available on the same day.

This model successfully demonstrated that the audience wants control and freedom over when and where they watch, Spacey noted. If a paying subscriber wishes to binge as many have done with the show, then the industry should allow that to happen.

House of Cards went on to earn nine Emmy nominations this year including best drama. A second season with 13 episodes is already in production.




User Comments: 12

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Guest said:

I usually download movies, but I recently got a tv with netflix and now with I see a lot more less reasons to do that.

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Netflix has demonstrated they have learned the lesson that the music industry didn?t - give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in at a reasonable price and they?ll more than likely pay for it rather than pirate it.
yes, we all know Americans want it now, and lots of it and we hate waiting. Hence our addiction to credit cards and tendency to vote for politicians who ignore our infinite debt in favor of immediate rewards.

anyway....

It's important to note that this model only works with 'cheaper' content. The people wouldn't be happy if iTunes only sold music that was written by Apple for Apple like Netflix's original content is.

Kevin Spacey is the only big name actor in that show, and a political drama is a great type of show for sell a whole season at a time. Blockbuster movies can cost $200 million for 2 hours of movie, that'd be $1.2 billion per season of 13 episodes, which is crazy.

I agree that House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Homeland, Breaking Bad and Sopranos are (and was) some of the best programming you could watch, but in order to get those shows you need excellent writing, lesser known stars and minimal special effects. And even then it's a crap shoot. Like the show Rome on HBO. Awesome show, but too expensive and was cancelled.

I don't think the Hobbit or comic book movies would do as well if they were made into shows with multiple episodes. The Pixar model couldn't survive either. Regardless, I doubt Hollywood is concerned enough about piracy to give up the huge payday that comes with a successful movie in a theater in favor of licensing fees from Netflix.

IAMTHESTIG said:

Regardless, I doubt Hollywood is concerned enough about piracy to give up the huge payday that comes with a successful movie in a theater in favor of licensing fees from Netflix.

You're right about that... Powered by greed, as is appropriate, they will stick with methods they 'think' will get them more cash. That is fine, I will continue to not go to movie theaters, and wait until the movie can be had cheap through online delivery. Unlike most, I am patient.

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

You're right about that... Powered by greed, as is appropriate, they will stick with methods they 'think' will get them more cash. That is fine, I will continue to not go to movie theaters, and wait until the movie can be had cheap through online delivery. Unlike most, I am patient.

I wasn't calling them greedy. Have you ever sat through the cast at the end of a movie? The first few names make a ton of money, the next few hundred are hard-working people just like the rest of us, and for all of them, there are even more who wish they had jobs in the industry. it's not greed to want to be paid for your hard work. My point was that the industry isn't going to spend a lot on producing content if the Netflix model can't produce a legitimate return.

Renrew Renrew said:

Refreshing to hear some sensible statements from an Actor.

2 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

People will watch what is available. Variety allows people to watch what they are most interested in. Too much variety creates the scenario "not enough money to go around", especially when they think they should all be millionaires for making one movie. It is a position to earn money, and it is no more important than any other.

IAMTHESTIG said:

I wasn't calling them greedy. Have you ever sat through the cast at the end of a movie? The first few names make a ton of money, the next few hundred are hard-working people just like the rest of us, and for all of them, there are even more who wish they had jobs in the industry. it's not greed to want to be paid for your hard work. My point was that the industry isn't going to spend a lot on producing content if the Netflix model can't produce a legitimate return.

Fair point... I didn't express I was mainly thinking of the MPAA and large corps like Paramount, which I feel are trying to strategically block the progress of low priced, high volume streaming or downloadable content. That is just my perception though, which doesn't mean it is completely accurate.

Guest said:

MilwaukeeMike -- I get what you're saying, but your formula doesn't really hold water. For example, a season of Game of Thrones reportedly costs $60-70M for 10 hrs of content ($6-7M per episode). Still, it's far more economical than a movie budget.

The problem is that Hollywood is SO concerned with piracy, that they spend millions of dollars lobbying lawmakers to write draconian laws that preserve their business model at the expense of consumer rights.

Guest said:

Well, shit! Listen to that! The man has a brain! I've just gained a whole new dimension of appreciation of Kevin Spacey. This is pure, undiluded wisdom. I WANT MORE!

1 person liked this | OutStreetFilms OutStreetFilms said:

You are forgetting that the current model in the industry DOES NOT WORK. Movies will (and do) stop making the returns they had been. That is why series are gaining momentum. The cost to make 10 series episodes is not the same as for making 10 movies and this does not affect the people working in the industry. Scale is scale regardless of the project. The budget gets the advantage of using the same cast, crew, set etc. for 10 episodes instead of 1 film. People get more work for more hours, not less.

Emexrulsier said:

I admit I have grabbed the odd dodgy copy once in a while but I also pay for things like sky movies, netflix and even music through spotify. My reason for "pirating" is the artificial slowness created in making certain media available world wide. For instance I watch Dexter I am forced to pirate the most recent episodes because in the UK we wont be seeing it for maybe 6-12 months we shouldn't have to wait that long in this day and age but we all know its driven by profits rather than customers

Jack Reacher said:

You will never find me in a movie theater again. Forget the fact that they are these miserable multi-screen jobs that draw many more people than one might want to be around. Also, there is the fact that kids, (and a lot of so-called adults), have zero respect for others in a theater. Typically the lobbies are filled with morons comparing their latest tattoo of some meaningless object. Then there are those that cannot refrain from talking, texting, snorting, farting, chomping, slurping or whatever nasty habit one can think of. And do not ever read a health inspection report of a movie theater. Don't say you weren't warned.

Netflix relieves me of all these burdens. Yeah, I might have to wait a while before the DVD comes out. (Or utilize other methods of watching.)

Regardless, I love Netflix, and these so-called "Blockbuster" films might want to look at the genre they are continually following with the expensive, (and meaningless), car chases, gun battles, etc. A helluva lot of expense can go bye-bye when films stop being so juvenile.

But of course we have Generation Huh? now, so nothing directed at "the thinking man" is going to be made for a long time.

Got a bit off tangent, but I'll say that Netflix is the best thing next to a hot tub of buttered, (microwave), pop-corn.

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