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‘Netflix effect’ impacting distribution, research finds

The impact of Netflix simultaneously launching its US programming in all operating territories is impacting how other platforms are distributing programming, an IHS report has found.

The report, titled ‘The Netflix effect: US distributors fast track new series to international market’, found it takes an average 84 days for US programmes to hit international markets.

However, successful day-and-date launches such as Netflix’s second season debut of House of Cards in the US, Latin America, the UK and Ireland, the Nordics, and the Netherlands meant other distributors are now seeking quicker routes to market.

Foxtel in Australia and Orange Cinema Series were singled out as playing US programmes a day after their Stateside launch.

However, many other broadcasters remain more cautious and wait to see how a programme performs in the US before handing a show a local launch. Furthermore, scarcity of slots for acquired programming meant many would see a new show as against their best interests if they already have a returning show on air.

Data showed that 14 of the 54 new scripted drama and cable series from US broadcast and cable networks last year remained unsold in key territories Australia, France, Germany and the UK.

The latter acquired the most US series, 34, but that the gap to launch was the 95 days. Australia on the other hand, bought 24 but only waited 32 days from US debut to launch. In France and Germany, only nine and 15 series, respectively, were acquired and the average gaps were 129 days in France and 116 days in Germany.

IHS’s data came from research conducted between calendar year 2013 and February 10, 2014.