Netflix Just Changed Everything ... and Here's Why

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Did you ever read those “choose your own adventure” books when you were a child? I always loved the fact that I was able to exercise some control over the fate of my favorite character just by turning to a certain page. Well, if you did love those kinds of books then I have some good news for you: Netflix is taking that concept and bringing it to the television.

Right now, Netflix is rolling out choose-your-own-adventure-style television programs for children’s shows. This means that parents and children can watch some of their favorite fairy tales and children’s shows and choose how they want the plot to go. And if that’s not enough to excite you, if this goes as smoothly as anticipated, Netflix plans to expand beyond children’s programming. That means in the near future you could be choosing whether your hero should stay and fight the predator or get to the chopper.  

Some of you may be wondering what Netflix’s technological innovations have to do with CRE. Everything, actually. Here’s why anyone in real estate should be keeping a close eye on Netflix’s new line of entertainment.

Competitors will follow suit

If Netflix is able to successfully implement a line of choose-your-own-adventure television shows, we can safely assume that their digital competitors will also try to capitalize on that wave. And now that online retail titan, Amazon, has entered the world of streaming television, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll be interested in interactive stories.

While Amazon’s growth is always significant for people in the retail sector, venturing this far into new technology could even mean growth in various office markets as Amazon and Hulu try to compete with Netflix.

Possible increase in warehouse space

I know what you’re thinking, “why would anybody need warehouses to stream videos?"  To understand that, remember that Netflix has approximately 100 million subscribers. On an average day, that already requires a lot of computing power to ensure that everyone has access to good-quality videos that aren't forced to buffer every three minutes.

Choose-your-own-adventure shows are far heavier on resources. They require information to be transmitted from the viewer and processed by computers before the viewer can advance the plot – and all of this needs to happen quickly. For that to happen, Netflix could need to look at building warehouse filled with servers that can handle this new stream of information being transmitted to and from the viewers. So, if this concept takes off, the use case for real estate could add millions of feet to the market.  

Could influence Hollywood

Suppose Netflix’s venture becomes a smashing success. Over time, the demand for interactive television and movies will extend beyond streaming services, and Hollywood could be first to notice. Imagine if we were able to go to the theater and watch our very own choose-your-own-adventure movie on the big screen. Granted, there would be some kinks to work out, like how we’d choose adventures: majority rule or everyone had specially designed glasses that allowed you to see different versions? There would also need to be money invested in equipping cinemas with the appropriate technology, but it could be a great opportunity for CRE investment in the theater industry.

Of course, all of this is pure speculation at this point. I’m just excited to see how this will play out in the long run.