Netflix announced today that it will be bringing 10 episode season one of the series Sense8 to Netflix in late 2014. This marks the first time the Wachowskis, the people behind The Matrix triology, V for Vendetta, and other movies, will work in television. Or does it?
Is Netflix really television? The lines between television, movie, internet, and even mobile are starting to get blurred to the point that it really doesn't matter anymore. You can watch a movie on your cell phone and then switch to your TV when you get home. So is that television or mobile or does it matter? If you are Nielson, it matters. If you are Comcast, it matters. But if you are the consumer, it doesn't matter.
With House of Cards and Sense8 going directly to Netflix, it confuses the definition. I've never watch the television series Louis "live" on FX but I've watched it via Netflix on my AppleTV on my television. And when I watched it, i've watched a few episodes in a row. But what is an episode? 30 minutes or really 22 minutes due to time for commercials? 60 minutes or whatever it is with commercials?
If you consider that a television season is 12 episodes at 22 minutes each, you are really talking about a little more than 4 and a half hours of content. But what if you started to take away the conventions of the standard television show and time constraints and gave the creator control over time? Maybe some seasons will be 20 episodes while others are 10 but with longer segments. Would ABC's Lost series been scripted differently? Would we get better story telling and character development? Could you do different character arcs or even although the view to pursue their own development?
Netflix knows something we don't which is what everybody is watching and what everybody wants. They are potentially the Google of visual media. Remember when Google filed their IPO and it seemed very risky? I think television and movies will be changing a lot over the next 5 years and we'll remember how television is today the same way we remember television before there were DVRs.