COMMENTARY | To say Netflix had a disappointing 2011 might be something of an understatement. Fox Business reports the Internet video streaming company lost nearly two-thirds of its market value since it announced a price hike over the summer of 2011. According to The Huffington Post, the price hike caused a large subscriber exodus because it amounted to a nearly 60 percent increase. However, 2012 could be the beginning of a long climb back to respectability for Netflix.
Reuters is reporting Netflix has announced a firm release date for the first show in a line of original programming. The report states that mobster drama "Lillyhammer" will debut on Feb. 6. The show is the first of what could be some impressive shows for Netflix, which will follow "Lillyhammer" up with "House of Cards" sometime in the fourth quarter of 2012 or early 2013, as the article states.
Plus, Venture Beat reports Netflix is planning on resurrecting cult favorite "Arrested Development" in 2013, and could attempt to bring back canceled shows to add some unique value to its online catalog. Cinema Blend even mentions that popular science fiction show "Firefly" could be on the Netflix radar.
The original programming is a big deal for Netflix, and the Internet giant needs those programs to be a big deal for subscribers. Offering something that viewers can get only by subscribing puts the service on par with traditional network television, and in the future could rival pay cable channels like HBO. Netflix is clearly moving to enhance the company's image that was somewhat tarnished by the price hike.
On the heels of such a disappointing year, the company is moving in the right direction. If the original programs can win fans, and viewers, the share prices and valuation of the company will rebound. Netflix needs to deliver in 2012 and treat 2011 as a year for growing pains. Changing the landscape of television seems like a great place to start.