Changes afoot for Netflix as original films VP Fischer departs

Netflix
Image: Netflix

Pauline Fischer, vice president of original films for Netflix, will be leaving the SVOD provider to form her own consultancy firm. Fischer, who worked closely with content chief Ted Sarandos, will transition out over the next several weeks, Variety reported.

Since coming aboard Netflix in 2008, Fischer played a key role in acquiring exclusive content and driving original content at the service. Beasts of No Nation was one of the first offerings under her watch, and was notable for its same-day U.S. theatrical release and Netflix debut – the first in boss Sarandos’ strategy to offer its original films simultaneously as theater or streaming experiences.

No replacement has been named for Fischer yet.

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Netflix is continuing its strategy to acquire globally-licensed content, as well. Yesterday, the provider announced it had licensed the upcoming nuclear disaster film Pandora to stream exclusively to its subscribers in 190 countries in 2017.

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At the same time, Netflix is retiring one of its original series next year: Longmire’s sixth season, set to stream in 2017, will be its last, the company said.

Finally, Netflix will be integrated into Comcast’s X1 video platform, which launches this week. It’s a big change from just a couple of years ago, when Netflix was trading verbal jabs with the cable operator and other last-mile network providers over internet traffic prioritization (part of the issues around net neutrality regulation).

Considering that Netflix, Hulu and other SVOD services have been integrated into TiVo set-top boxes used by Tier 2 operators such as Suddenlink for some time now, this may be less a case of a full peace being declared, and more of an instance of Comcast acceding to consumer demand for easier access to the top streaming services.

“The move signals both companies giving in to larger pressures within the industry,” wrote Michelle Caffrey in the Philadelphia Business Journal. Comcast doesn’t want to lose customers to the tempting deluge of original content coming from SVOD services, while Netflix needs to reduce churn and gain more subscribers by making its service easier to get.

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