Netflix co-founder doesn’t think “binge-watching” is a viable business strategy


When Netflix on Valentine’s Day bowed the second season of high-profile original political drama “House of Cards,” it again made all 13 episodes available thereby enabling the cultural phenomenon known as “binge-viewing.” This is the practice of watching television for longer time spans than usual, usually of a single episodic show. To Mitch Lowe, co-founder of Netflix and former president of Redbox, binge-viewing is a concept the subscription streaming pioneer should have left in the bottle.

Don’t count Netflix co-founder Mitch Lowe as a fan of “binge-watching” culture, despite the thousands who spent an entire weekend watching “House of Cards.” In fact, the former COO of Redbox thinks the trend of marathon TV-watching sessions popularized by Netflix’s online streaming video service doesn’t work as a long-term strategy. “I see it as a fantastic PR stunt,” Lowe said Tuesday on “Squawk on the Street.” “Long term I don’t think this is the right way to build audience. Even from an artistic point of view, the cliffhanger is so great. You lose that long-term buildup that the weekly episodes built. You can’t even talk about it at work.” Lowe does feel Netflix’s commitment to original content with shows such as “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards” hits upon the right trend. 

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