Net neutrality may have lost Netflix as an ally

Jun 03, 2017, 02:03
Net neutrality may have lost Netflix as an ally

We should have a higher cancel rate overall.

Hastings shared in a conversation with CNBC that with a fairly impressive track record, he continues to encourage Netflix's production team to find properties that are different from the normal TV shows that audience see on screen today. Yet Amazon's ability to invest vast sums of money in premium content - some of which has scored Oscars and Golden Globes - is giving other content streamers a run for their money.

When asked if he thinks Netflix is nearing saturation in the United States given its aggressive expansion overseas, Hastings replied, "Absolutely if we kept the product the same".

It wasn't long ago that Netflix and Hastings were leading the charge among online content companies pushing for net neutrality rules to ensure that Internet providers can't throttle certain websites by creating so-called "fast lanes" online.

Baz Luhrmann's disco-inspired series "The Get Down" recently became the first Netflix show to be cancelled without being given a second series.

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Hastings added, "It's like they are trying to repeal the basic laws of business of limited capability so, we are continuing to watch them and be impressed by them".

"The Trump FCC is going to unwind the rules no matter what anybody says", Hastings argues.

That said, it's not like Netflix only finds super safe shows. "Mostly, it's how many people watch". According to J.P. Morgan estimates, Amazon's video content budget for 2017 is about $4.5 billion while Netflix is willing to spend $6 billion on content in 2017. Sure, there are also much more traditional Netflix originals like Flaked and Real Rob, but Netflix originals tend to be fairly diverse and touch upon relatively sensitive issues as a rule. "We want to focus on how we can be the embodiment of entertainment, joy, movies, and TV shows". He stated that Netflix has to be the specialty play, since they can not "Out-Amazon, Amazon".

Hastings clarified that he doesn't believe Netflix "picked" a fight with Cannes, but the controversy worked out as free press for the two films, which "got it on their own, on artistic merit".

"Sometimes the establishment is clumsy and they try to shut out the insurgent and then the insurgent role is to try to play that up", he said.

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