Netflix's Hastings expects linear TV to diminish like landlines have

MUMBAI: Do you know what's driving Netflix as it continues on its mad rapid expansion around the globe? Well, CEO Reed Hastings gave some insights to German TV anchor Claus Keiber in an interview to Digital Life Design (DLD) station recently. Hastings indicated that he believed that linear television is on the brink of extinction.

 "It has been a breakthrough for 50 years and has enabled consumers to watch movies at their own comfort rather than going to a theater," he said. "However, today people want to watch content on different screens. There used to be a lack of diversity and of different voices during the era when the three major networks dominated the entertainment space in the US. Today, consumers want to make it personalized with updated and improved applications which are the aspects of internet TV. Eventually, these new forms will replace the linear television TV just like fixed lines were by mobile phones.”

When asked if the linear TV will manage to retain a viewership niche, he agreed, saying that “there is always a tendency to romance the past."


He rued the fact that internet TV has no authoritative voice, but that shortcoming is more than made up by the fact that it is a platform which offers a broader diversity including more opinions and experimental content.

“Every technology has its losses and gains. These days, anyone can produce and can also have a television network”, added the IT engineer. “Linear TV networks are adapting and putting their content out on the Internet. The other international networks might also convert themselves into internet networks."

Netflix's big challenges going ahead - after its recent expansion into 130 countries - are producing locally in the markets it has launched, getting the right price points for consumers and finally getting a leg in to China. Hastings revealed that the company is already in talks with local partners as well as government departments to get a license.

“We need to be patient. Apple took six years from 2005 to 2011 in negotiating and binding relationships in China before launching their I-phone. We are looking forward to a decade where Chinese middle class would want to embrace the content that we provide”, he pointed out.  “Currently, bloggers in China think that House of Cards is a documentary on the US."

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