Ever since Netflix NFLX -1.2% debuted House of Cards on its digital entertainment streaming service, critics and entertainment industry experts alike have been as enthralled with the upstart company and its progress, as they’ve been with the various original series and movies it has programmed since.
Unlike subscription cable networks like HBO and Showtime, Netflix made clear, early on, that it intended to be a service that could speak to every member of the household.
Elite subscription cable has a history of offering edgy, R-rated fare, with little to no programming commissioned for family or younger adult consumption.
The strategy was obvious: why would people pay for subscription cable, if they could get similar fare on broadcast TV?
By ordering shows like Fuller House and Virgin River, Netflix signaled to its growing subscriber base that it rejected the premium cable strategy.
Historians may argue this point, but beyond offering shows in a “binge-able” package, Netflix’s next most provocative decision was to be all things to all viewers, versus cleaving to the “elite-oriented” cable rule.
Netflix would unabashedly and without apology program to kids, older adults, rural viewers and other audience segments intentionally ignored by premium cable.
Along the way, the streamer never forgot to include award-winning, HBO-worthy fare, ranging from Orange Is The New Black to The Queen’s Gambit.
Netflix truly seemed to speak to anyone – – mainstream or artsy – – interested in original content.
Planning ahead, the streamer made massive, exclusive deals with creators that had built gigantic, loyal audiences based on their specific brand of storytelling.
The biggest deals announced were with Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes and Kenya Barris, all reported to be in the “9 figure club” – – in other words, the value of each deal was reported to easily exceed $100 million.
Since then, Netflix has made similarly high-profile deals with mega-personalities: Barack and Michelle Obama and Prince Harry of Sussex and his wife, Meghan Markle.
While Murphy has already had a number of projects premiere on Netflix, Rhimes has only recently debuted her first effort: Bridgerton.
Taking place in England’s Regency Era (based on novels by Julia Quinn), many who tune in will be reminded of juicy, period-set serials such as Downton Abbey, or docu-dramas like The Crown, when comparing Rhimes’ latest smash hit to past favorites.
Read More: forbes