Netflix mulls over paying some kind of bonuses to filmmakers whose films perform well on the streaming platform or near prestigious awards, according to a report by Bloomberg . The tactic would be a way to win over closed directors and producers who might be shopping for a project on multiple streaming services, while maintaining the idea of a traditional theater release.
According to Bloomberg the bonus idea is still being debated internally, but it may be a costly change to Netflix's strategy. The company has traditionally covered production costs and paid fixed premiums to filmmakers and producers on top of this.
Netflix TV division need not compete as much with the media's traditional ad-based distribution models, WSJ points out The large controls it reduces for TV talent and production are competitive with or superior to the incentives offered by cable and network channels.
Although the bonus system is never fully realized, there is more evidence of Netflix's ongoing struggle to establish itself in the traditional film world, even if it dominates the TV market. While Netflix won three Oscars in February for Alfonso Cuarón's rom Roma the company has annoyed the traditional Hollywood establishment and festival circuit by refusing to show its original movies in cinemas, or by demanding day-and-day releases, which means a streaming and theater release at the same time. Nevertheless, Netflix is also hungry for official recognition in the form of prestige films and the associated awards, which have required winning directors, actors and screenwriters more likely to go the traditional route.
The ongoing tension resulted in Netflix withdrawing from the Cannes Film Festival last year due to ongoing litigation disputes. It has also led to a number of controversial public feuds with studios, theater chains and directors, especially Steven Spielberg, who earlier this year raised the idea that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would change its eligibility requirements to exclude streaming services.
The Academy decided it, although Netflix has since changed its ambitions by planning to release Martin Scorsese's The Irishman and other original films in theaters this fall before making them available on their own platform. It helps Netflix meet the eligibility requirements for the prize money while attracting theater chains and directors who view home streaming of prestige films as a serious existential threat to the Hollywood business model.
Whether Netflix goes a step further and decides that court filmmakers with even greater sums can depend on who the streaming service is trying to convince, and whether its latest financial woes can make such an approach too risky.