"House of Cards" Is Back! Quick, Schedule Your Netflix Binge-Viewing Party

"House of Cards" returns for a second season, and you can stream it all on Valentine's Day.

Feb 8, 2014 at 12:20PM

House of Cards returns for a second season on Valentine's Day. Political backstabbing isn't as romantic as a dozen flowers or a box of chocolates, but it's not a stretch to picture many couples capping off a nice meal come Friday with a little Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright plotting to rise up the ranks of hungry politicos. They'll catch the first episode of the second season. When it's over they are welcome to stream another -- and another. House of Cards is a deck to be shuffled at everyone's own pace.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is the champion of binge-viewing. Unlike traditional networks that offer shows in weekly installments, Netflix offers entire seasons of its original programming on the same day. It's been this way since Netflix got into this game two years ago this month with Lilyhammer. It was a gutsy strategy. Instead of building up momentum for the serialized drama about a mobster sent to Norway as part of the witness protection program, Netflix chose to let everyone watch it at their own pace. There would be no Twitter eruptions at the same time every week. There would be no water cooler buzz since everyone would be at a different point in the series.

However, the approach certainly differentiated Netflix from the conventional programming mind-set. Netflix has gone on to stick to this "binge viewing" approach in all but one of its subsequent offerings. The only time it strayed was back in December. DreamWorks Animation's (NASDAQ:DWA) Turbo FAST -- an animated series based on the studio's Turbo about a speedy snail on the racing circuit -- made its debut with only the first five installments. That wasn't intentional. Netflix just went with the episodes that were ready.

The rest of the streaming industry doesn't seem to agree. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) offered its first shows in November, choosing to make just three episodes of Alpha House and Betas available at the launch. New episodes would follow on a weekly basis. When Hulu rolls out Farmed and Dangerous later this month, the four episodes will be unveiled across four consecutive Mondays.

Netflix may have a right idea with how it's making all of House of Cards available on Valentine's Day, but the rest of the industry apparently either isn't buying into binge viewer or just doesn't feel that it's financially feasible for their particular models.


Another meaty political drama is your living room itself
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Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Apple, DreamWorks Animation, Google, and Netflix and owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Google, and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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