Buzz for ‘House of Cards’ Dies Down, But for Netflix the Party Has Just Begun

/ Apr 23, 2013

house-of-cards-poster

Netflix posted its Q1 2013 earnings report late yesterday afternoon, and the coverage has focused on two things: revenue and membership. Specifically, how much did Netflix’s first major original series, the Kevin Spacey-star-studded House of Cards, contribute to the company’s higher membership total, and consequently, revenue?

To get the money stuff out of the way, here’s the quick rundown: Netflix topped $1 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time, with a net income of $3 million at 5 cents a share. Excluding debt-related charges, net income stood at $19 million at 31 cents a share, nearly doubling analysts’ expectations of 18 cents a share. This led to a 25% bump in Netflix’s stock price in after-hours trading.

Domestically, Netflix added 2 million subscribers during Q1 2013, bringing its total to 29.17 million. Surely House of Cards hype, which followed Netflix’s aggressive advertising push wrought with that ominous picture of Spacey sitting on Lincoln’s chair, had an impact. Netflix also made the first episode of the 13-episode first season available for free, without requiring non-Netflix members to sign up for a subscription.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, during the company’s earnings call with Wall Street analysts, said the show only had a “gentle impact” on subscriber growth during Q1, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

That doesn’t mean that non-Netflix members who signed up for the service to watch House of Cards cut and ran after bingeing through the 13 episodes. Netflix, in a letter to shareholders, said: “Some investors worried that House of Cards would take advantage of our free trial, watch the show, and cancel. However, there was very little free-trial gaming — less than 8,000 people did this — out of millions of free trials in the quarter.”

Overall, Netflix is pretty confident in its ability to attract and retain subscribers with its original programming slate, which in addition to House of Cards includes the recently launched Hemlock Grove (from Eli Roth) and upcoming shows Turbo F.A.S.T. (in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation) and Sense8 (from the Wachowskis). In the same letter to shareholders, Netflix said: “Long term we believe the value of our Original series in driving acquisition and retention improvements will be borne out as we add more seasons of popular shows like House of Cards and further series. Harry Potter was not a phenomenon in book one, compared to later books in the series.”

Clearly the company is serious about the investments it plans to make in original programming.

In the letter to shareholders, Netflix reiterated the focus towards shifting the company’s content strategy toward curation of exclusive programming rather than it’s current position as a hub for non-exclusive programming. To make a real push in the marketplace though, Netflix will have to replicate the flash success of programming like House of Cards, to merit further expansion of its original content output.

Hastings said as much during the conference call with analysts (via CNN Money): “In the next two years, it’s a modest increase … If that were wildly successful for us, as the first three shows have been, we could continue to expand to 20 or north, but that would be dependent on what happens the rest of this year.”

By that measure, Netflix is doing well. The company said Hemlock Grove’s global viewership surpassed House of Cards’ when comparing each show’s first weekend on Netflix. A few more of those and certainly Netflix shareholders will continue to see a rise.

Do you think Netflix can make a dent in the original online programming space? And how so or not? Share in the comments! 

Tags: , , , ,


facebook-thumbs-down

Facebook Says It’s Sorry It Vastly Overestimated Video...

 
craig-piligian-pilgrim-media-group

Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian (‘The...

 
youtube-heroes-for-change

Heroes or Rats?: YouTube Unveils New Program for Creators Who...

 
Vessel says it's doing well in its first month

Why Verizon is Pursuing Vessel, the...

 
Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!
 
jared-feldman-and-sam-hui-ph-d-at-the-2014-canvs-launch

How Canvs Media is Harvesting Emotional Insights on YouTube,...

 
marlon-wayans

Marlon Wayans Getting ‘Naked’ for Netflix with Regina Hall

 
huffpost-ryot-aol

HuffPost RYOT Launching Virtual Reality Comedy Series and News...

 
youtube-vote-irl

YouTube Launches #voteIRL Campaign Targeting Digital-First Generation

 
tyler-oakley-camp17

How Top YouTubers (incl. Tyler Oakley & Meghan Rienks)...

 
charlie-sheen-anger-management

Charlie Sheen to Star in Crackle Feature ‘Mad Families’

 
filmbuff_videoink_300x250

Gunpowder & Sky Buys Distributor FilmBuff As Vision for...

 
toy-freaks-youtube

Toy Freaks Top Viewed YouTube Channel in August According to...

 
jeffrey-tambor-transparent-amazon

Emmy Wrap-Up 2016: Jeffrey Tambor (‘Transparent’)...

 
Twitter

Twitter Scores 2.1 Million Viewers for Thursday Night Footall Kickoff

 
youtube-sad-face-error

Vloggers Not Unique Snowflakes: 90 Million Flag YouTube Videos...

 
Mode Media

‘Billion Dollar Startup’ Mode Media Shuts Down

 
raised-firsts-branded-tv

Who Is Winning The Marketing Revolution And Why?

 
shes-gotta-have-it

Netflix Orders ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Series...

 
swedish-dicks-peter-stormare-keanue-reeves-viaplay

What Is ‘Swedish Dicks’ and Who Is Selling It?

 
seamlessly-she-monica-potter-aol-partner-studio-gmc-acadia

How GMC is Using the AOL Series ‘Seamlessly She’...

 
Netflix_new

Liberty Global to Put Netflix on Set-Top Boxes in 30 Countries

 
vincent-cacace-vertebrae

Getting to the Spine of VR’s Monetization Challenges with...

 
meredith_brandfront_videoink_300x250

Meredith Hosted Its Own “Front” Stacked with 20 New Series

 
complex-networks-hearst-verizon

Verizon and Hearst Move RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV Under...

 
Twitter

Twitter Launches Live Streaming Apps for Amazon Fire, Apple TV...

 
YouTube Community

YouTube Fights Back Against Social Media Rivals with Community Feature

 
Casual Hulu

Vimeo Opening Television Store with Lionsgate Content, Launching...

 
A Perfect Day in LA Tastemade Jaunt VR Virtual Reality

From Donuts to Malibu, Tastemade and Jaunt Get Immersive in...

 
Defy Media

Defy Media Close $70 Million Series B Funding Round

 
YouTube Space LA Halloween Set 2016

YouTube Spaces Team with Jason Blum (‘The Purge’)...

 
Yahoo Esports

‘Yahoo Esports Live’ Serves Up Reeses Puffs with...

 
univision

Univision and Lionsgate Team for SVOD Movie Service for U.S. Hispanics

 
People Entertainment Weekly PEN

People/Entertainment Weekly Ad-Supported OTT Service Preps for Launch

 
George_Kliavkoff Jaunt VR

Jaunt VR Hires Hearst Exec George Kliavkoff as CEO

 
Making a Murderer Netflix

‘Making a Murderer’ Scores for Netflix at Creative...

 
Future Man Hulu Josh Hutcherson

Hulu Orders ‘Future Man’ Series Starring Josh...

 
Heirloom Paten Hughes Tom Wopat Vimeo

How an Actress’ Real-Life Tomato Farm Inspired the New...

 
Robert Redford and Jane Fonda Electric Horseman

Netflix Rolls Camera on Robert Redford & Jane Fonda...

 
AmazonBox

Amazon Greenlights Docu-Series on Tennis Star Novak Djokovic

 
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler 2-4-15

It’s Apps or Else: FCC Chairman Wheeler Clarifies Rule...