Is the definition of a movie only a video presentation of a certain length, or is there more to it than that? Chief Strategy Officer Brad Berens explains.
The June 30th issue of The Economist featured an excellent cover story and short lead article about how Netflix is changing the entertainment industry with one disturbing sentence: “This year its entertainment output will far exceed that of any TV network: its production of over 80 feature films is far larger than any Hollywood studio’s.”
The disturbing bit is “feature films.” This term originated in the glory days of cinema (pre-television) when movies were the world’s most popular entertainment. Viewers would happily enter theaters for hours to watch a newsreel, a short subject, a cartoon, and then the main movie or “feature.” The notion of “feature films” is linked to the movie theater with what I thought was an unbreakable chain, but apparently not.
I should point out that “feature film” is the Economist‘s term: it is not how Netflix describes its non-series, non-comedy special, non-food-documentary video content. Netflix simply calls these things “movies.”
If you click the “Movies” link in the top-level menu on Netflix, then you’ll see that the site combines original Netflix movies with movies that were once only available in a movie theater. So, Set it Up and Tau (both Netflix originals) are right next to Boss Baby (DreamWorks) and Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (Disney) on the “Trending” row.