Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Netflix and Amazon Prime represent most of the best TV drama series of the last 10 years, and what isn't on those services is available a la carte from Apple and Amazon.

I know the article sets up the conflict this way, but the point really isn't that Netflix is an unstoppable juggernaut, so much as that what Netflix represents is. Maybe Amazon will figure things out and it'll come to dominate TV, or maybe Netflix will, but either way: HBO hosts only a small fraction of the prestige shows, in an era where there are too many to watch anyways.

The rap on HBO has been, if you look at the ratings, they have GoT, and used to have True Blood, and before that The Sopranos, and that's what's kept people paying. GoT is going away. Content of the same quality is much more available now than when GoT started running. Why are people going to pay a premium for HBO?






> GoT is going away.

GoT has, at the last count I saw, four successor series under development at HBO (down from a peak of five, and likely but not certain to get down to only the best actually getting full-scale production), with one already, unless I missed a schedule change, already filming, with the showrunners of GoT and GRRM all involved in all four.

> Content of the same quality is much more available now than when GoT started running.

I don't think that's actually true. It think content of GoT quality is available from almost exactly the same number of sources, in almost exactly the same number of titles, as when GoT first aired, and that's even more true if you consider value to people who would pay $15/mo just for GoT (and even if it wasn't, most of the people who would can afford to pay the same amount more than once if they have another source of equal-quality content available.)


If HBO can keep GoT going indefinitely at this level of audience engagement, it'll do fine. But Netflix and Amazon aren't dependent on a single tentpole show the way HBO is, which is part of HBO's vulnerability. I think AT&T's take on HBO is dead on.

> Netflix and Amazon Prime represent most of the best TV drama series of the last 10 years

I guess this comes down to personal preference, so it's possible to argue that, but I would absolutely disagree. A look at the list of Emmy Award winners for Best Original Drama (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primetime_Emmy_Award_for_Outst...) surfaces many titles that show that cable and broadcast networks haven't been sitting still this decade: Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Dexter, Downton Abbey, True Detective, Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, The Americans, The Good Wife, Mr. Robot, Better Call Saul, This Is Us, etc.

You can argue that the list of Emmy winners has been slanted until very recently by bias against streaming providers. And I wouldn't disagree with that! But my point in citing Emmy winners isn't to say that those awards are an infallible guide to what's good and what isn't; it's just to say that there's been plenty of good programming coming out of cable networks over the last 10 years.

> Maybe Amazon will figure things out and it'll come to dominate TV, or maybe Netflix will

Netflix has already given up on the idea of dominating TV. Their shift to original programming means they're not trying to be your one source for everything anymore, they just want to be a source with enough good programming to convince people they're worth subscribing to. Which, as a business model, is kind of like... HBO.

Netflix's Ted Sarandos has even said this explicitly: "The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us." (https://www.gq.com/story/netflix-founder-reed-hastings-house...)


The shows you're listing there are, excepting True Detective and Boardwalk Empire (which is a second-tier show!), generally available on Netflix and Amazon. They cost Netflix and Amazon to run, sure. But HBO can't run them at any price.



Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: