Feb 13 - Fans of Netflix's House of Cards series are eager to see the new season, giving the streaming media powerhouse more traction, and the leverage for another possible price hike. Bobbi Rebell reports.
(NATURAL SOUND FROM MOVIE "HOUSE OF CARDS" KEVIN SPACEY SAYING "WELCOME BACK") …To "House of Cards"- Netflix's Emmy-award winning original political suspense series back for a second season. The show chronicles the rise of a power-hungry couple, whose ambition seems to know no limits. Actor Kevin Spacey- who stars alongside Robin Wright as his wife- says the plot twists will keep fans coming back for more: SOUNDBITE KEVIN SPACEY, ACTOR (ENGLISH) SAYING: "You know, one of the things that I think has been really fun for me to read and talk to people on the street and restaurants, has been that it's for people so mysterious. That some people interpret it this way, some people interpret it that way. Some people think it's a marriage of convenience and some people think it's true love. And, you know, we are operating in our own experience of, there's a lot we don't know yet." But we do know the original series is a key part of Netflix's strategy. Piper Jaffray's Michael Olson: AUDIO-ONLY SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL OLSON, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, PIPER JAFFRAY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "In general, Netflix continues to really outperform the competition. It's really because of this virtuous cycle of getting better content which adds more subscribers, which ultimately allows them to spend more on getting better content and that can kind of continue and help them run away from competitors in the space." He adds that while the new season of House of Cards probably won't drive new subscribers- it is a reason they stick around after the success of the earlier season. That stickiness will give Netflix the leverage it needs to raise prices- and help justify its lofty stock price. AUDIO-ONLY SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL OLSON, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, PIPER JAFFRAY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think that what we are going to see is Netflix ultimately raising prices some time in the next 24 months. Sounds like they are going to grandfather in existing subscribers for what they have called a generous period of time which would lead me to believe existing subscribers will be able to remain on the $7.99 streaming plan for at least a year. But I do think that as we get farther and farther away from the Quickster debacle of 2011 that they are starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of raising prices." Fans petitioned for an early release of the series- after the severe winter weather shut down much of the country on Thursday. All 13 new episodes of House of Cards are scheduled to be released at midnight February 14th. A third season has already been ordered.