Sony Entertainment CEO: DVRs and Netflix have made TV better

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Like Mad Men or Breaking Bad? Then thank TiVo and Netflix. At least that’s what Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is doing. Lynton told the audience at All Things Digital’s Dive into Media conference in Dana Point, California Wednesday that the ability to catch up on shows has led to a new wave of creativity in the TV space, and he directly credited Netflix and DVRs for this: “They have fundamentally changed the creative nature of the product. In a spectacular way,” he said.

Long-form TV dramas were a tough sell in the past, Lynton argued, because story lines had to accommodate audiences that wouldn’t tune in every week. With Netflix and other methods of catch-up, TV has gotten a lot better, he said: “One of the reasons that you are seeing this explosion in creativity going on right now…. is the fact that you can now create these 13 episode long-form narratives.”

Common wisdom in the industry has been that long-form dramas like Mad Men and Homeland are attributable to the rise of cable networks like AMC, HBO, and Showtime, but Lynton disputed that notion. “This is something completely different,” he said, and completely attributable to technology. Lynton went on to say that it’s still not clear how technology will have an impact on the creative process in the area of movies.

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