Netflix CEO Calls 'House of Cards' Down Payment on Original Content
YAHOO.COM - Netflix subscribers don't sign up for original content or specific shows but the overall experience, CEO Reed Hastings told a Morgan Stanley media and technology investor conference Monday.
"You want to think of House of Cards as a down payment on
the potential to build real franchises" over the coming years, he
cautioned investors in a session that was webcast. "We don't want you to
think that suddenly we are the original-content company."
But the political drama starring Kevin Spacey is
Netflix's most-viewed content offering, and original content looks "very
promising over five to 10 years," he said. "It could become quite
material." Overall, he urged investors to see the success of
original-content investments as "a very nice confirmation of the premise
that over years we can build something really important as opposed to
some inflection point."
Asked about Netflix's international strategy, he said the firm will
take a breather in terms of new market launches in the first half of
2013 but continue to focus on Europe. "We'll be ambitious again going
forward," Hastings said without disclosing details. "We are growing
internationally. We are going to continue to invest."
He said that in each foreign market the company faces competitors,
such as Amazon and BSkyB, that have money to spend. But the executive
emphasized that pushing for a strong market position is key. "We have
somewhat deep pockets" as well, Hastings said. "If you are the one that
has gotten to scale, you have a heck of a franchise. So we are pushing
hard at that."
He cited the example of Disney's ESPN, which earlier in the day had
announced the sale of its U.K. TV channels to telecom giant BT. "ESPN
just pulled out of the U.K. because of competition," Hastings said,
emphasizing that scale is important even for "a company that really
knows what it is doing."
Those who question his decision to spend on subscriber growth now
only need to ask themselves how long the Internet will be a dominant
distribution platform, the Netflix CEO said, suggesting that this would
be the case for "probably a very long time."
So his firm has an incentive to invest a lot. "If we invest upfront,
that's a very long-term defensible franchise," Hastings said.
The Netflix boss also answered a question Monday about possible extra
charges or usage limits that broadband providers like cable operators
could require from heavy online video users, including Netflix
"There would be a pretty big outcry if they cut access to Netflix,"
Hastings said. He said that broadband providers charge $40-$60 a month
and pay no content fees, making their broadband business very
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:12 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:12:15 GMT
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AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. - On Thursday dozens of people lined the streets in Airway Heights to pay their respects to Capt. Victoria Pinckney and Tech. Sgt. Herman "Tre" Mackey III as their bodies were transported to Spokane ahead of Tuesday's public memorial.>>
Thursday, May 23 2013 8:44 PM EDT2013-05-24 00:44:15 GMT
Courtesy: MGN Graphics
GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) - The Boy Scouts of America's National Council has voted to ease a long-standing ban and allow openly gay boys to be accepted as Scouts. >>
GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) - The Boy Scouts of America's National Council has voted to ease a long-standing ban and allow openly gay boys to be accepted as Scouts. Of the local Scout leaders voting at their annual meeting in Texas, more than 60 percent supported the proposal. >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 2:57 PM EDT2013-05-22 18:57:24 GMT
KHQ.COM - Army Brigadier General Bryan T. Roberts is being investigated for adultery and for being involved in a physical altercation.>>
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