“House of Cards,” Netflix’s first attempt at original programming, has become “the most-watched thing on Netflix right now” according to the service’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.
Speaking at the Dive Into Media conference in California yesterday, Sarandos was confident that viewer numbers would continue to grow. He compared the series to an album or book, saying releasing an entire season in one go averted the need for “exposition and catch-up and fake cliff-hangers.”
“The rules of it are different. It’s 100 percent about consumer choice,” Sarandos added.
All 13 episodes of the $100 million political drama dropped onto Netflix earlier this month, causing waves in the industry. Netflix are looking to evolve television, not destroy it, Sarandos said. But he refused to give viewing figures, saying that comparing Netflix to network TV was like “apples and oranges” since the service doesn’t sell advertising.
With new productions in the pipeline, Sarandos says Netflix are committed to producing their own content. “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz, whose quirky comedy is next in line for a Netflix-exclusive season, said the format gave producers more creative freedom and less interference from network executives. Saying viewers could better appreciate the show’s multi-layered in-jokes on repeat viewings, he added: "In many ways, we are the poster child for Netflix.”