When Netflix cancelled The Get Down it took the market by surprise.
It was the first original drama the streaming giant had axed after just 1 season.
“Our hit ratio is way too high right now,” founder and CEO Reed Hastings said this week. “So, we’ve cancelled very few shows … I’m always pushing the content team: We have to take more risk; you have to try more crazy things. Because we should have a higher cancel rate overall.”
While Hastings isn’t looking to deliberately produce failures, his logic is that by taking big risks, “you get some winners that are just unbelievable winners, like 13 Reasons Why. It surprised us. It’s a great show, but we didn’t realise just how it would catch on.”
Ask any TV programmer and they will tell you: Risk is one of the most crucial ingredients of success in Television -otherwise we never get anything new.
The Netflix founder also offered a clue about how the company deems its programs failures.
“You can tell when we cancel a show,” Hastings said, adding that the company considers “a mix” of factors in its decision, including viewership and subscriber growth.
“Mostly, it is how many people watch. But those are very connected.”