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How Netflix changed the pay TV landscape

Netflix just won another indirect victory in the form of a net neutrality proposal passed by the Federal Communications Commission, which would ban all types of paid prioritisation on the internet.

This means Verizon, AT&T and Comcast will be unable to seek more revenue from Netflix, in exchange for fast video streaming rates to Netflix’s 40 million US subscribers.

Even though it is the removal of another roadblock, Netflix was already on its way to destroying the current cable industry, according to several TV business experts and analysts.

Netflix did not win through the £6.99 per month service that offered hundreds of movies and dozens of TV shows, but from its own collection of original programming.

It all started with the launch of “House of Cards” on 1 February 2013, an ambitious recreation of the UK TV show by the same name. The third season launched on Netflix earlier today and is already seeing huge demand.

Having original content on Netflix drew subscribers who would have otherwise not subscribed, and set a precedent for customers to keep returning for more House of Cards while checking out the latest on the service.

That was only the start. Netflix followed up with another TV hit “Orange is the New Black”, and made “Breaking Bad” one of the most successful TV shows ever to hit US cable TV, despite it having only a small amount of viewers pre-Netflix.

Netflix’s only fault in the original programming part is “Marco Polo”, which received mixed reviews. Still, it maintained popularity on Netflix where viewers obviously found it more of a fun ride than movie and TV show reviewers.

The streaming service is working on dozens of original series now, and even working on a few movies, meaning by the end of 2015 we could have a library full of Netflix' own content.

Netflix has not only won over millions of US cable subscribers, who are now full blown internet-only TV viewers, but is has changed the pay TV industry for the better.

HBO, CBS and other cable TV channels are working on their own streaming service to rival Netflix’s original series, and satellite TV provider Dish Network launched its own Sling TV to bring the best of cable TV onto the internet.

The revolution to internet TV would not have been possible without Netflix, but the next few years will be an even bigger challenge as Netflix has to keep customers interested in renewing subscription while HBO and other TV channels launch their own streaming services.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.