Content is king, long live content. While in the journalism world that concept may not be exactly true, in the race to be the top dog in online movie streaming, content is most definitely king.
That is why the agreement between Netflix and Miramax announced today is a very important step for the movie subscription service. Netflix is paying a reported $100 million or so to stream Miramax movies on a rotating basis over the next five years. There will be areas of exclusivity, according to paidContent, when movies are not available on Netflix, such as when they are released on Blu-Ray. Been dying to stream Pulp Fiction from your iPad? Come June, that will no longer be a problem.
Miramax was one of the first big independent studios to make a big splash in the indie wave that hit the movie industry in the 1990s. It produced hits like Good Will Hunting among others and was soon a target by the big studios, eventually being acquired by Disney.
According to paidContent, the digital partnerships that Disney had with Apple and Amazon for digital rental and streaming of Miramax films amounted to less than $1 million annually. Taking in north of $100 million is a big win for both the studio and the Netflix. Miramax owns the distribution rights to 566 films, according to IMDB.
Strategic Partnership To Help Both Parties"From day one, we've been very clear about the importance of digital and our desire to respond to the significant pent-up demand for our films -- delivering to consumers whenever and wherever they want," said Mike Lang, CEO of Miramax in a press release. "This agreement is an important first step in our digital strategy."
Netflix is the leader in the clubhouse in the movie-streaming race. It has 23 million subscribers and is available across almost any device or platform from smartphones (now with Android) to the Wii and Xbox and Internet TV services like Roku. It is imperative for Netflix to cement its early lead as the competitors include the biggest companies in tech land. Google just announced movie rental streaming with YouTube and rentals for smartphones through the Android Market. Amazon is stepping up its Video On Demand streaming services and library. Apple has not been heard from in a while in this space but movie purchase and downloading through iTunes remains a strong option.
Netflix does not have the same deep pockets as Apple, Amazon and Google. What it does have is traction in the market and the goodwill of the studios, something that the big three do not enjoy as the movie industry has been holding the tech firms at bay while it figures out how to optimize revenue on various platforms.