What does Donald Trump mean for Netflix?
Donald Trump’s journey from property magnate to the most powerful man in the world has begun. You might have noticed since the story has dominated world headlines since he became President-Elect.
Of all of Trump’s policies, the one that has the potential to impact Netflix the most is Trump’s stance on Net Neutrality. He’s against it.
What, you may well ask, is Net Neutrality? Simply put, it’s the rule that requires the big Internet providers (AT&T and Verizon for example) to distribute all content evenly. In effect, they are not allowed to favour their products over those of Netflix and the like.
Trump has appointed two advisors to his “landing” team who are opposed to Net Neutrality and since the rules were brought in by President Obama, they are likely to be seeking to repeal them. This will be an act of pure political difference rather than any great attempt to make the world a better place.
And what the effect of this change in the rules – if it happens – be on Netflix? The loyal fans will continue to navigate directly there, the people who join through word of mouth will continue to do so and the advertising campaigns to draw in new subscribers will go on. But here’s the bad news. If Net Neutrality is withdrawn, Netflix may have to pay premium rates to the delivery services and this increase in costs may well be passed on to subscribers.
The Netflix Originals are a powerful product in their portfolio, but Netflix has a substantial advantage as an aggregator of content from many other sources. The reality is that people will never want hundreds on subscriptions to watch hundreds of channels and the aggregators will always win out in this respect. A repeal of Net Neutrality won’t change this but the cost of delivery will rise.
Is Donald Trump on Netflix?
So we wondered to what extent he features on Netflix. The answer is not a lot.
There’s the satirical parody from the Funny or Die Presents team: Donald Trump’s The Art Of The Deal. This is a TV movie that spoofs Trump’s bestselling book and stars Johnny Depp. While the movie was released this year, the book was published in 1987, so the material is dated and is best presented as a mockumentary. While Depp doesn’t look or sound like Donald Trump, he does a reasonable job in an otherwise unfunny offering. It leaves you wondering if the production team bothered to read the book. There’s certainly little informative research to help you understand the mind of the future president.
And there’s 13th, a powerful documentary about the criminalization of African Americans in which Trump typically mouths off. And some of the comedians have a go at him.
And that’s about it. None of his celebrated cameos (Home Alone 2 and Zoolander for example) is currently streaming although they have done in the past and might again in the future.
Finally, will we see more of Donald Trump on Netflix in the future? Surely it’s inevitable. The documentary makers, the comedians, the satirists and the movie makers are going to be all over this presidency like never before. Trump is a character who attracted controversy and the cameras before this latest chapter in his life, and that will now be amplified a hundredfold.