Netflix to develop its own original documentaries and stand-up specials

July 23, 2013

Streaming video giant Netflix has already had great success with producing original TV shows like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, but soon it will expand its original content to include documentaries and stand-up specials.

The company made the announcement in part with its second-quarter earnings (read how Netflix did here):

Beyond series, we will be expanding our Originals initiative to include broadly appealing feature documentaries and stand-up comedy specials. Netflix has become a big destination for fans of these much loved and often under-distributed genres.
Netflix’s original content recently received validation from the broader TV community with coveted Emmy nominations for the Kevin Spacey/David Fincher project House of Cards and the fourth season of Arrested Development.

The move clearly targets HBO and other premium cable providers that produce similar types of content. HBO develops well-watched comedy and documentary specials and is one of the most notable examples in this space. Netflix has not said what producers, if any, that is has talked to about producing documentaries and comedies.

It also makes sense for Netflix to develop a wider array of content because some of the broad deals it once had with TV show producers have dried up. Netflix mentioned in its earnings today that its “broad content deal with MTV Networks” expired, and it will instead purpose licensing “specific shows that our members love.”

Copyright 2013, VentureBeat

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