Netflix, original content, and a farewell

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PARIS--Netflix Tuesday added some fuel to its original content engine, naming Cindy Holland its VP of original content. The move shows just how important CEO Reed Hastings and his leadership team see the gradual evolution of the company into not just a content distributor, but of a content owner as well.

Hastings knows that the company has a much better chance of evolving into a "cable channel" if it has its own content to offer. It's both an opportunity to attract viewers and to continue to move toward a deal with an MSO to include it as a channel in the pay-TV line up.

And, as Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said last month, it's another way to guarantee that the company has content available if (when) content owners started to tighten access to top-notch programming.

"I looked at that and realized we were faced with a supply source that wasn't reliable," Sarandos recently told The Hollywood Reporter.

A focus on original content also helps position Netflix to continue as a disruptor in the space, said Ben Keen, chief analyst of media research for IHS Research.

Speaking on a panel at the IHS European Technology, Media and Telecommunications Summit, Keen said Netflix has to continue developing content to maintain its position.

"What they're now doing is saying we need to compete with HBO and Showtime," Keen said. "It's going to put its money where it's mouth is and fork out a lot of money for original content and move up the value chain. This is the best way they feel they can be disruptive... trying to compete with pay_TV operators." --Jim

P.S. On a semi-related note, this: The only constant in life is change.

This is my final issue as editor of FierceOnlineVideo, and I wanted to thank all of you, and the fine folks at Fierce for making this such a gas.

Starting next month, I'll begin a new journey as an analyst with Parks Associates. Keep in touch!