Netflix is dropping hints that it wants to expand into news programming. Variety reports that the entertainment distributor is hoping to add news shows to its already versatile repertoire, including some of its own shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, both of which boast Emmy nominations and wins.
Netflix CEP Reed Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced on a conference call that they were interested in creating news segments. “What is the likelihood that we could compete directly with Vice in the next two years?” the team allegedly asked. News programming would be an interesting addition to the streaming and DVD service, but because so many people use Netflix for entertainment, would they turn to it for news?
It’s not yet certain what Netflix’s news programming would look like, or even what form it would take—or what it could bring to the table that local and national news shows can’t. But given the service’s huge following and the fact that is has become more or less an integral part of our social foundation, Netflix news has the potential to really work.
“We are interested in being able to improve the viewing experience of whatever kind of content people are watching,” Sarandos says.
The A.V. Club suggests that if Netflix were to provide daily news coverage, it would be a definite departure from what their current programming looks like, which might pave the way for other new kinds of programming.
Netflix already has deals for a few documentaries, including an eight-part nature documentary from the creators of the highly-acclaimed Planet Earth series. But Netflix might not be interested in sports coverage, as “sports on demand is not as exciting as sports live,” according to Sarandos.
There are also talks of a Netflix talk show hosted by Chelsea Handler, though no official details on that front have been released as yet.
Netflix has a largely captive audience, so if they can find successful ways to ensure that their business continues to boom, it’s likely to stick around for a very long time.