When it comes to producing original content for web-loving on demand users, there is no denying that Netflix is the frontrunner.
Since 2011, the online streaming service has produced a number of critically acclaimed original series, from House of Cards and Arrested Development to Orange is the New Black and Hemlock Grove. It even became the first online company to be honoured at awards season, when House of Cards won three Emmys and one Golden Globe.
But Netflix is far from alone.
Amazon, which now encompasses LOVEFiLM under its Prime Instant Video brand, has already released original series Alpha House, which stars John Goodman, and Betas, following budding entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. And, after two ‘pilot seasons’ which saw users voting on the pilots they wanted to see turned into a full series, they’ve got plenty more programmes on the horizon, from Annebots, Creative Galaxy Tumbleaf and the third season of the cancelled BBC series Ripper Street.
And plenty other on demand services and technology firms are hot on their heels.
Microsoft is getting in on the act. As well as the previously announced Steven Spielberg series based on Halo, the technology giant recently revealed that it was teaming up with Channel 4 to make Humans, an English version of Swedish series Real Humans, which will be premiere on both C4 and the Xbox Live platform.
And it appears that’s just the start for Microsoft, who are aiming to serve up a total for 12 original series for its Xbox users. Xbox Originals – “premium dramas, comedies, documentaries, animation, unscripted shows, and live events” – will launch in June, offering content available only on Xbox and Microsoft devices.
Yahoo has today declared that it will be embracing the trend for on demand, producing two original comedy series from the directors of Bridesmaids and Curb Your Enthusiasm, that will be available to stream from Yahoo Screen’s website and app.
Sony, too, recently announced plans to produce its first original available through its Playstation Network. The series, titled Powers, will combine superheroes with gritty police drama, as officers investigate superpowered crimes. The show, which is based on a comic by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming, will be made up of 10 hour-long episodes.