Red Netflix envelopes sit in a bin of mail at the U.S. Post Office.
Red Netflix envelopes sit in a bin of mail at the U.S. Post Office. - 

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Today, Netflix is branching out -- and for the first time is producing and distributing its own show. And that has Hollywood a little concerned.

Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman explains.


MITCHELL HARTMAN: According to entertainment blog Deadline Hollywood, Netflix is edging out cable networks HBO and AMC to produce a new 26-episode political drama for TV called 'House of Cards.' And they're going for a blockbuster -- with Kevin Spacey and director David Fincher of "The Social Network." It'll be the first time Netflix streams its own show to its own subscribers.

PHILLIP SWANN: It's not surprising at all.

Phillip Swann of TVPredictions.com says Netflix is sitting pretty with its 20 million subscribers. But it's also got a lot of competition coming up from behind -- Amazon, Facebook, the telephone and cable companies.

SWANN: So Netflix sees the future and they go, "You know, we're going to have a tough time keeping those 20 million subscribers unless we provide them with content they can't get anywhere else."

The deal's likely to be expensive -- $5 million an episode plus tens of millions for promotion.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

Follow Mitchell Hartman at @entrepreneurguy