There can be no doubt that Web streaming helped snatch away the control media titans once held over their content and customers.
But Netflix (NFLX) wants it back.
And a host of new deals is bringing the on-demand giant one step closer to the bygone ties Hollywood studios once held with theaters and the arrangements TV networks had brokered with local stations.
Since Netflix first opened its streaming service in 2007, cofounder and CEO Reed Hastings has been on an aggressive campaign of scooping up global content rights, inking new deals in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Australia and Japan in 2015, alone.
And this trend of acquiring content from networks and studios across the world for Netflix's exclusive distribution is only likely to accelerate, according to Ted Sarandos, the company's head of content.
"What you're seeing is a fundamental change in consumer behavior; so people who used to watch television on a schedule are now watching on-demand products like Netflix," Sarandos said at a December industry conference.
"And now the viewer has moved here," he added. "So if you want to make money, you better sell it here."
After making a name for itself with self-made blockbusters like "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black," a favorite Netflix tactic has become approaching big-ticket producers with deals for exclusive launching rights of movies and TV shows before they are siphoned off into the broader digital world. (Most recently, Netflix has been in talks with producers of current box-office hit "The Big Short.")
"There were conversations directly with producers," Sarandos said on Netflix's most recent earnings call. "So a lot of times it's if you can get to the rights before they get fragmented, that's when you get to those deals. So they tend to be more curated title-by-title, in that way."
And CEO Hastings' appetite extends beyond content: Netflix has been aiming to expand its streaming distribution channels through deals with Google (GOOG), Xbox (MSFT), and Apple (AAPL), in the hopes of tapping the Smart TV market.
Investors should expect Hastings and Sarandos to further lay out their plans for global consolidation of content under the Netflix roof on January 19, when the company announces its earnings.
"Netflix is the best in the world at delivering on-demand TV, in our view, which should allow it to gain share of viewing hours and programming profits on a global basis," Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andy Hargreaves said in a January report.
Netflix shares have risen 125% over the past 12 months, and most analysts expect to see more gains. Netflix's average price target is currently $123, or $17 above mid-day trading Monday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.