While they have held their belief for a long time that they are potential heirs to the industry of cable TV, company CEO Reed Hastings has suggested that the internet streaming giant are prepared to become part of a cable provider’s service package in the future.
In his role as a speaker at the ‘Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference’ in San Francisco (USA) on Tuesday, Hastings that they are not as concerned with ‘beating’ cable TV as many make them out to be, and claimed that Netflix could one day enter that market as their own channel.
He said of the possible plans: “It’s not in the short-term, but it’s in the natural direction for us in the long term. Many [cable networks] would like to have a competitor to HBO, and they would bid us off of HBO.
Hastings also addressed queries over Netflix’s competition, calling them ‘copycats’ but praising their efforts, and adding that it could be cable-owned catch-up offerings, such as the HBO Go app, that they need to look out for.
He stated: “Amazon’s strength is that they’re super long-term and keep everyone guessing. Especially me. It’s very easy for companies to overestimate copycat competition and not see the real threat. You go back to 1995, and you talk to the Netscape sales force and ask them what their No. 1 competition is, and they’d say Spy Glass, which was taking a little market share from them at the same time. But the real competition was Microsoft and bundling.”
He summarised by suggesting that the way forward for Netflix was ‘more exclusives’, in that original content could be used to attract or maintain viewers. While it would appear to be an immediate concern due to the departure of Starz content from the online service yesterday, it would also seem to be in their interest to look to the future with regards to these deals as well. Will Netflix manage to better integrate themselves into the TV industry?