It seemed inevitable that Netflix would eventually end up being integrated into cable systems. Even if some of those cable systems aren’t a part of the wider mainstream, you have to wonder how many people would turn to Netflix on their TVs if it were given as a channel option. While we know that the user still has to activate it once they turn to the new Netflix channel, you have to wonder how many years away it is before Netflix is a real network.
Much of that may be decided once Netflix stops locking horns with Comcast and becomes a channel on their cable systems. According to Comcast, this can’t really happen unless their merger with Time-Warner happens. And with many people against that, does it really have to take making Comcast into some kind of behemoth in order to turn Netflix into the next popular cable network?
Here’s some things that Netflix might want to do in order to turn themselves into a legitimate network on TV in the next couple of years. They may end up giving HBO a run for their money in being able to connect the features of the net and integrate with standard TV network tropes.
Creating a Network Theme Song
It may sound archaic, but all networks have a theme song they use, or at least a bumper sequence to use in-between shows. Netflix can integrate themselves in with all the other networks by creating one. Even if the days of bombastic network bumper sequences are over, not all are. Some cable channels still have large fanfare-like bumpers, like Turner Classic Movies. Netflix might be able to get away with it since they’d likely lead in their respective time slots.
Showing Programming During Primetime Hours
The above last sentence connects here and the idea that if they want to compete as a network, they should show programming in primetime for people who want to catch a series in real time. As usual, the episodes would be available on the Internet side of things to watch whenever we wanted and during binge-watching sleepovers. Netflix could make considerably more money having sponsors who would take on the primetime broadcast of their popular shows.
Then again, perhaps they should leave some shows to the net and broadcast exclusive shows just for cable. This gives more exclusivity to Netflix and a real desire to tune in and cream the competition everywhere else. They could potentially force people to DVR all the popular HBO shows rather than watch them live as they usually do.
Yes, when you successfully win over HBO, you have something nobody else will be able to imitate.
Behind the Scenes Options and Commentaries
If Netflix were smart, they’d integrate TV and net even further and add options to their network side with extras to enhance the shows they offer. This should include behind the scenes documentary options and even live commentary as options through a smart TV Internet line. It enables DVD/Blu-ray features on TV and would give the feel of buying the Blu-ray box set without having to spend $60. Of course, Netflix would have to charge subscribers extra to see those bonuses, yet it would be worth it as a preview for the box set later.
Paving the Way in 4K Broadcasting
When the lucky individuals who get Netflix on their cable watch their shows there, they’ll get a nice surprise if they own a 4K TV: The signal will actually be in 4K. In that regard, Netflix will technically be the first TV network to broadcast in 4K clarity. If they decide to become a real network with all the features above, they’d also be paving the path to 4K becoming a standard broadcasting goal faster than it took 1080p to become standard.
Otherwise, Netflix may just be standing alone in becoming a network offering what the others aren’t. Despite the cost cutting, commercial networks aren’t going to stand for that as they try to find their own “House of Cards” to compete with Netflix’s special knack for finding shows people actually watch.