Netflix has emerged as a powerful source of entertainment when it comes to online streaming, threatening the very existence of traditional media players. However, there is one TV company that is very confident about its future in overcoming the threat from online streaming services: the BBC.
Netflix inspiring the BBC to get better
The BBC’s drama chief, Polly Hill, said the firm’s future as a leading provider of family entertainment is reserved despite intensifying competition from online streaming services like Amazon and Netflix. Hill said the output from the BBC still comes up with “watercooler moments” giving the subject of discussion and debate.
“I think competition is good for us all,” Hill told the Daily Telegraph. “The rise of Netflix and Amazon raises all of our game.”
The BBC has a unique way of doing things, and owing to its relationships with writers and producers, the network gets better content, she said.
“When you get it right, it really does bring a nation together,” Hill said.
The BBC planning Netflix-like services
Hill’s remarks follow similar remarks by BBC Director General Tony Hall in September. Hall revealed that the BBC’s iPlayer could compete with online rivals Netflix and Amazon. He said that some of the content will be available free to subscribers, while new series from the corporation or rivals or classic BBC shows could also be offered to subscribers for free.
“At its heart would be a free offer, with BBC content funded from the license fee. We would also aim to make it possible to buy and keep programs, as we’re doing with BBC Store,” Hall said that time.
The BBC also has plans for offering longer series, like some shows can have 22 episodes per season, and the company will test this by releasing all the episodes in one go onto the iPlayer. Such a model – popularized by services such as Netflix – will allow viewers to “binge watch” many of the popular shows.
Hall’s comments followed reports that the company may shut down BBC Four to free up more funds to compete with streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix. Along with Netflix and Amazon, the BBC may also be planning to take on Apple Radio or Spotify with a streaming audio service of its own, hinted Hall.
On Dec. 24, Netflix stock closed down 0.70% at $117.33. Year to date, the stock is up by over 140%, while in the last one month, it is down by over 6%.