How Netflix transformed television

Netflix seems like the company to beat

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

NEW YORK (CNN) – The internet has transformed the way we watch television.  Consumers are increasingly ditching their cable subscriptions, in favor of online streaming services.

50 countries and 50 million subscribers; when it comes to streaming TV shows and movies, Netflix, with its growing stable of original content, is the company to beat

Brian Stelter, CNN senior media correspondent said, “Netflix is now in the same league as an HBO or a Showtime, and no online service is that same league.”

The company who’s addictive original series helped popularize the term “binge watching” is now spearheading another trend: “cord cutting”

New figures show the U.S. Cable industry lost 179 thousand customers in the third quarter, as more people ditched cable.

Samuel Burke, CNN correspondent said, “Perhaps no-one company has helped people decide  to cut the cord more than Netflix.”

Thanks to Netflix’s mix of old and new programming, more viewers are cobbling together their own entertainment packages online, changing the way TV is now being consumed.

Lance Ulanoff, Mashable said, “Netflix’s incredible success definitely made them the poster child. In that they lit the fire.”

Now Netflix is taking it to a whole new level.  It wants to de-throne HBO’s Game of Thrones with one of the most ambitious and expensive shows ever produced, Marco Polo.

Estimated cost for the first season: 90 million dollars, spurred on by Netflix’s success in both streaming and programming, Yahoo and YouTube are developing their own original content.

Amazon rolled out its own original series, “Transparent” and HBO, owned by CNN’s parent company Time Warner is readying a new app to watch content without a cable subscription.

All this competition means Netflix’s ultimate dominance is by no means assured, “I think Amazon and Hulu can both get there.  They can both be up there in the top tier of networks with high quality original programming in the near future. It just goes to show that it’s not where you put the programming anymore it’s about how good the programming is.”

Netflix wants to expand into even more international markets next year.  It is betting that Marco Polo will appeal to a wide audience allowing for strong subscription growth worldwide.

2015 could be the year that streaming goes truly global and Netflix hopes to lead the charge. But, without a continued stream of popular content, cord cutters could cut the cord on Netflix.

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