Something happened yesterday in the entertainment industry, and it got me thinking. Emmy nominations were announced yesterday morning and aside from the normal players (Breaking Bad, American Horror Story, Downton Abby and Game of Thrones racked up their usual nods), the big headline was the fact that NETFLIX was nominated for 14 awards! That’s right. Good ole streaming service Netflix, the company that some people only know is “where they get their DVDs,” produced a ton of great ORIGINAL content and has been recognized for their efforts. The drama series House of Cards grabbed 9 of the 14, while the long-awaited 4th season of one time Fox comedy Arrested Development snagged the rest. That’s not to say Netflix is creating nothing but winners, their horror series Hemlock Grove was poorly received, and just released Orange is the New Black has had minimal traction. But, the fact is, here you have an underdog—a company that at one time was just a provider of pre-existing content—competing with the big names like HBO, Showtime, CBS, NBC, etc. They are letting talented people work with them in order to create things that maybe other networks weren’t in favor of, passed on for whatever reasons. And these people are seeing success.
Sound familiar? Of course it does. Look at the book publishing industry right now. Over the past few years Amazon has completely disrupted things, allowing talented authors who have never been able to win the publishing lottery to get their work out there and live their dream. Some fail, some succeed. Just like Netflix, not everything can be a winner. And I’m not referring only to Amazon’s KDP (self-publishing) platform. Their Thomas and Mercer imprint IS a publishing company. Amazon is signing authors, and from what I’ve read, making them much happier than traditional publishing houses ever did.
Internet companies are providing opportunities, and people are taking advantage. The traditional world of entertainment needs to take note. This may only be the beginning.