retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

We've often written here on MNB about how Netflix - which used to just be in the business of mailing DVDs of other companies' products to its consumers - increasingly looking to compete with and differentiate itself from the likes of Redbox, HBO, Showtime, Apple's iTune Store, Amazon.com and virtually every cable and broadcast network by developing its own proprietary content.

The first and most prominent examples - "House of Cards" and the revival of "Arrested Development," which were only available to Netflix streaming customers.

Well, this strategic turn continues ... and Netflix reportedly has signed a multi-year contract with DreamWorks Animation (producers of such movies as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda) that will give it more than 300 hours of original programming.

Programming that, as it happens, will appeal mostly to children who, as they grow up, will have absolutely no affinity for traditional television as opposed to other methods of obtaining content. It won't matter to them - and in fact, it probably does not matter to them now - where content comes from, or what device it happens to be available. They'll just want the content they want, and they'll access whatever systems have whatever it is what they want.

That's an Eye Opener for every business, because this attitude will, I think, apply to everything they want. The next generation of consumers will be format agnostic, and will focus only on content, whether it is food, a movie, a news story, or shopping for clothes or shoes.

In many ways, I think, this Netflix story is not about a technology company making a content play.

It really is about a company making a generational play.

It is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: