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  • Netflix Raising $1.5 Billion; Analysts Don’t Like It

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    Netflix Raising Money

    Shortly following an announcement that they want to produce 20 new original shows per year, Netflix announced that they will be raising $1.5 billion worth of corporate debt.

    This is a half billion more than was originally reported. $700 million of the notes will mature in 2022 and another $800 million in 2025.

    As officially described, the company will use the proceeds for “general corporate purposes.” There’s a good chance that a portion of that money will go towards producing these new original shows. However, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Netflix may try to make some strategic transactions in terms of acquiring other platforms.

    While Netflix has been hugely successful in the streaming space, there are plenty of competitors vying for a portion of the audience. One way to acquire a competitor’s audience is to simply purchase the competitor.

    It’s likely that Netflix is betting on their original programming to help them grow, as well. Original content is something that they have had success with in the past with shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. More original programming would also instantly give Netflix differentiation from any competitors.

    However, there is a danger that the platform is going for quantity over quality. So far Netflix has been great at producing a few high-quality shows. It may become difficult to keep those same quality standards as the quantity of programming increases.

    While raising debt for corporate operations isn’t uncommon (Apple made a similar announcement on the same day), the debt rating agencies don’t seem too impressed with this move from Netflix. Moody’s sees the investment as too risky and Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the Netflix bonds to junk status.

    Of course, a debt agency’s rating has nothing to do with how the company will actually operate. So it will be interesting to see what Netflix does with this new cash infusion and what kind of programming they can create on a larger scale.

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    February 3, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4083

  • Netflix Plans to Launch 20 Original Series a Year

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    netflix

    Never the type of company to shy away from ambitious projects, Netflix announced this week they plan to launch up to twenty original scripted series a year, in a bid to acquire and attain subscribers. The show has so far had mixed but generally positive reception to their original content, including House of Cards, Bojack Horseman, and Orange is the New Black.

    Netflix has previously announced plans to produce feature-length films for theatrical release and has made a niche for itself in bringing back fan favorite cult shows like Wet Hot American Summer and Arrested Development. Launching twenty new scripted series is stepping up their game to a whole other level, however.

    Currently, cable networks like HBO and FX typically release only a small handful of new shows each year. Twenty is even a high number for the broadcast networks. The announcement was made during a Q&A at NATPE, the National Association of Television Program Executives, by Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, with the aim of reaching as broad as demographic as possible, providing something for everyone.

    It remains to be seen whether the popular netcaster can live up to such a lofty goal. Even if they do pull it off, it’s hard to imagine any network creating consistent quality over such a large number of projects, but Netflix has defied expectations before. One of their next projects to stream will be a new late-night show with Chelsea Handler, who has promised something new and different from her previous effort with E!.

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    January 22, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4578

  • Science Geeks Rejoice: Here Comes A Netflix Just For You

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    curiosity stream

    In a move that signals just how much media has changed, Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks has announced plans to launch CuriosityStream, a video on demand service that will focus on providing factual content.

    30 years ago Hendricks launched the cable network. And in just a few months he will be launching the internet-based video service that will be comprised mostly of short-form content that is 8 minutes in length or less.

    CuriosityStream will also conduct 20 monthly interviews with well-known experts such as Deepak Chopra and Sheryl WuDunn.

    Not all content will be original, however. Curiosity Project, LLC – the company behind CuriosityStream – has secured licensing rights for international content from sources such as ZED (France), NHK (Japan), and BBC Worldwide.

    Subscribers will also be able to choose from several different price points based on the streaming resolution. Standard resolution starts at just $2.99 per month, 720 HD is available for $3.99 per month, 1080 HD resolution will be $5.99 per month, and 4K Ultra HD resolution will set you back $9.99 monthly.

    The service will be available through any internet-enabled computer or mobile device, along with common streaming devices such as AppleTV, Roku, and Google’s Chromecast.

    It seems that Hendricks, who retired from Discovery Channel’s board last year, hasn’t played all the cards in his hand quite yet, as he is looking to further disrupt media in the factual content niche.

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    January 15, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3534

  • MFA Producing Grads’ Feature Horror ‘Rabid Love’ Available On Demand

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    Rabid LoveIf you grew up on 80’s horror, slasher films like Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, and American Werewolf in London, you will want to check out the film Rabid Love. Its throwback to the classic slasher genre is both refreshing and entertaining. The film stars Hayley Derryberry, Hannah Landberg, and Paul J. Porter, who is a graduate of the New York Film Academy. Porter is essentially the Woody Allen of Rabid Love as he is not only the lead actor, but also writer, director, and producer of the film.

    Porter teamed up with other NYFA alumni including Executive Producer Paul Hutchens and Associate Producer Rob Thorpe. Porter initially met Hutchens online after realizing that both of them were veterans stationed at 29 Palms Marine Base. They officially met, face to face, on the first day of their MFA in Producing class.

    “I feel like any school, and especially a film school, it’s going to be what you make of it,” says Porter. “Some of the producing classes I took were especially helpful in being able to work in the industry as a producer, such as the business/contracts, distribution, and budgeting/scheduling courses as well as the producing roundtable and the guidance of Lydia Cedrone. But I wasn’t content to just go to class and try to coast through the projects–I wanted to start my career as a filmmaker. So, the entire time I attended NYFA, I was working full time as a freelance producer, production manager, actor, or whatever else I could do on set–but the most important thing was graduating with my own feature under my belt as a producer/director.”

    Porter’s persistence and work ethic has given him a head start on the rest of the pack. His film, Rabid Love, is available on Netflix and many video on demand platforms, or can be purchased as a DVD on Amazon.com.

     

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    March 20, 2014 • Producing, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4782

  • NYFA Acting Instructor Lands Role on Amazon’s ‘Alpha House’

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    Michelle Best

    Michelle Best, who teaches acting classes at the New York Film Academy, will be appearing in the new Amazon original series Alpha House starring John Goodman. Michelle is playing the role of Constance. The series is Amazon’s first major attempt to break into the world of original streaming content, much like its competitors Hulu and Netflix. So far the reviews have been positive and a second season is looking very promising, especially considering it’s Amazon’s number one watched show.

    “Writing and acting are the strengths of Alpha House, with Trudeau’s keen satiric sensibility brought to life through engaging performances from a veteran cast led by Goodman and Johnson.” – David Zurawick, Baltimore Sun

    Be sure to look for Michelle toward the tail end of the first season and hopefully in a second season!

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    November 22, 2013 • Acting • Views: 5112