Posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 by Germain Lussier
At a recent digital media conference in California, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took the stage and laid out a ton of information about where he thinks his company will go in the next few years: What it will do, what it won’t do, and what he’d like it to do. From various accounts of the Q&A, which took place at the AllThingsD conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, it seems like Hastings has a good grasp on why Netflix is working (streaming content), how it can improve (social integration) and why it will never be iTunes or Hulu (too expensive). Read more after the jump.
It goes without saying that Netflix is growing. Just last month, for the first time ever, Netflix’s U.S. broadband traffic was larger than BitTorrent. Plus there are plans to expand into various other countries soon too. But Hastings doesn’t think the service will ever be able to have every single movie available streaming. It would simply be too expensive. He urged people, if they can’t find something they want on Netflix, to go to Amazon, iTunes or Hulu.
At $7.99 a month, we can’t provide unlimited content. We compete for a very specific and small part of the pie. We don’t have everything, but we have a great bargain. That’s what we want the brand proposition to be … Apple and Amazon are very good at being comprehensive.
He’d love to do business with Showtime and HBO and named The Wire as the show he’d most like to see on Netflix Instant, but stated simply that “It needs a big, big check.” The reason why Netflix decided to try original content in the first place (the upcoming show House of Cards produced by David Fincher and Kevin Spacey) is because those companies, who have many more resources, currently won’t play ball with Netflix when it comes to content.
If we can’t spend the money with HBO and Showtime, then we gotta do things like that. But our preference would be to spend that money with HBO and Showtime.
Hastings believes that for Netflix to truly grow, and keep the cost affordable, they’ll have to continue to integrate with social media and have a five year plan to become more and more involved on Facebook and other sites. As for hardware, though, he thinks their future is in televisions with internet, not tablets. He thinks AppleTV is more important to Netflix than the iPad.
Tablets are not a revolution. The Apple TV is more important to us than the iPad. The big deal for us is Internet connected TVs.
Despite that, Hastings and his CFO David Wells aren’t content with where things are. In the future, they hope to work closer with the movie studios to continue to get quality streaming content. In fact, “people are coming to us with deals” Wells said in a conference call. In addition to a recent deal with Miramax, they’ve renewed a deal with Starz and, in the coming years, hope to do business with studios like Sony or Disney.
For more on all of these points, check out our source links below.
Do you think Netflix and its leaders are making the right moves? Should they try to gain as much streaming content as possible or strive to keep the service affordable?