(Mashable) -- Netflix has built up a large library of catalog television content that can be streamed to subscribers on demand. Now, the company wants to get access to current episodes of primetime TV shows, and it's willing to pay up.
The New York Post reports Netflix is in talks with production studios and is willing to pay up to $100,000 per episode for first-run TV content.
This is just one more sign that Netflix is shifting more and more of its focus onto streaming and on-demand content. Less than two weeks ago, the rental giant made a streaming-only plan available to U.S. customers.
Although Netflix's catalog of streaming film titles is without much competition, it's a different story on the TV front. The media-conglomerate backed Hulu Plus is starting to gain steam, following Netflix's playbook both in terms of subscription pricing and licensing its service to a multitude of different device types.
The big advantage Hulu Plus has over Netflix is its access to lots of first-run TV content, which is typically made available the day after broadcast. Netflix, on the contrary, tends to be about a season behind for current shows.
It's clear, however, that Netflix isn't willing to cede the TV market to Hulu Plus. Last month, the service signed a deal with NBC Universal to carry Saturday Night Live the day after broadcast.
If Netflix is willing to pay $70,000 to $100,000 per episode for first-run shows, which is what the Post suggests, it's hard to imagine that many content producers would be turning that offer down.
It's not just television where Netflix is willing to whip out its checkbook, it is willing to pay for movies too. Yesterday the company announced that it had signed a pact with FilmDistrict to bring first-run movies to its streaming subscribers.
This is the same deal that Netflix signed with Relativity Media back in July. What this means is that feature films -- in both cases these are smaller, independent titles -- will hit Netflix rather than first going to premium cable channels like HBO or Showtime.
Again, these partnerships are meant to address the one major shortfall of the Netflix Watch Instantly product: Availability of new content.
Being able to deliver newer content more quickly will help solidify Netflix as the leader in this new wave of streaming distribution. It's good to see that Netflix realizes the importance of gaining this access, even if it means having to pay up.
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