iWorld

Cricket, movies, TV shows and Amazon, according to Netflix’s Reed Hastings

MUMBAI: Hotstar, Amazon, and Sony Pictures Networks India can heave a sigh of relief. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has stated that the global streaming powerhouse is going to continue to focus on entertainment; cricket is not on the table at all. What this means that it will be refraining from participating in the IPL cricket rights tender which will be coming up for bidding soon.

Speaking with CNBC on Squawk Alley on 31 May from the Code Conference in California, Hastings was pretty emphatic that both, sports and news, are a no-go area for Netflix. He said: “You know, no plans on news and sports. Those are tough businesses and we've got a lot of room to grow in movies and TV shows. Expanding into standup comedy. Unscripted. So, we are going to really focus on that on a global basis.”

He went on to add that Netflix could do movies about sports as the company was focused on video content that has repeat viewing. Said he: “It's things that you don't only want to consume once. Whereas the Warriors and the Cavaliers (two NBA teams) are going up again and people will be intense on that and then it won't – you know, afterwards, there is no after viewing. Whereas our shows, there really is.”

Hastings agreed that India was definitely a complicated market for a US company “But, for an Indian company, they feel fine about it,” he said. “We still have a lot to learn. Now, we've done awfully well in Latin America and in Europe and, of course, in North America. So, we've learned some things. But, we have a lot of room to grow in Asia and a lot to figure out still.”

He is not disturbed by the explosion of OTT players rushing to grab a few cents from the consumer's wallet. “Around the world, there's all kinds of new options coming up that give people opportunity. It is like saying there are too many mobile phone apps. You know, there's 100,000 but you probably only pay attention to 30. But, different people have a different set of them. So, i think it is great,” he said.

Hastings disclosed that Netflix is more about being consumed on the mobile phone in Asia – as compared to the US where consumers are spending more time on it on traditional widescreen TVs. “About two-thirds of the viewing is on large screen televisions, either from your Xbox or Playstation or directly with the smart TV. When you get used to watching on a mobile phone, you watch all kinds of content and sports on a phone. You adapt to that,” he explained.

“We are just doing great content and it is available on any screen. You paid $1,000 for a new television, you are going to use it. You look for the shows and the images. With that and with HDR, which has a color intensity. It makes the TV just pop. 4k transforms the in-home experience. That's one of the big drivers and with mobile on the low end.”

Hastings said that cord-cutting is not really being driven by the rise of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. “Very few people have cut the cord. We are about 50 million in the US, and we have seen maybe two million or three million of 50 (million) cut the cord,” he elucidated.

“Don't think of it as a big overlap that we are driving cord cutting that is probably mostly from pricing. In general, if you look at cord cutting, it is like two to three per cent per year, like broadcast ratings over the last 30 years. It will take a very long, slow, secular decline no big calamity and then they will adjust the economics.”

According to him, the rapid expansion of Amazon is what is alarming. He said: “Well, they are so scary. I mean, everything Amazon does is just so amazing. I mean, how are they doing so many different business areas so well? 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 with them. And they are helping to grow the industry because they are investing in the content.”

However, he was clear that Netflix is not going to go head to head with the giant. He explained: “If we try to out-amazon Amazon, then that's a losing battle. So, what we have to do is be the specialty play. We are trying to be Starbucks and they are trying to be Walmart. So, we have to have brand-intense love and focus. And, what they do is incredible at their breadth. So no, we wouldn't focus on those things. We would focus on how do we be, really, the embodiment of entertainment, and joy, and movies and TV shows.”

He maintained that Netflix’s content budgets are only going to grow. Its content purse for 2017 has around $6 billion in it, but that is not going to be enough going forward.

“As we grow the membership base, we want to grow the content budget. There are so many great shows on Netflix but there are so many great shows we don't yet have. We are going to continue as we grow the membership base to try to get more shows and more movies. (All this has) Been great for talent and writers for everyone. There is so much competition now between all the new players plus the existing players, like HBO, are beginning to grow. It is this new age of television. Nobody is sure where it is going, except for the quality of movies and TV shows is continuing to decline.”

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/18/zee5.jpg?itok=f3WsjIB0
ZEE5 to stream 'Bhram' on October 24

MUMBAI:  The OTT giant ZEE5 is coming out with a new series titled 'Bhram' which will be a one of its kind psychological thriller with an extra topping of horror. 2019 is the year that has seen Indian cinema progress to greater heights not just in mainstream cinema but even in the OTT space. ZEE5...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/18/nikhil.jpg?itok=tw0uHXsb
Nikhil Gandhi moves to TikTok from Times Network

MUMBAI: TikTok has appointed Nikhil Gandhi as Tiktok India head. In his new role Gandhi will be responsible development and operation of TikTok India. Prior to the new appointment, Gandhi was associated with Times Network as President and COO. Gandhi has over 20 years of experience in leadership...

iWorld Social Media
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/18/snapdeal.jpg?itok=J6VnH-uO
Snapdeal witnessed 50% growth over last year from two Diwali sale editions

MUMBAI: Snapdeal, one of India’s largest value-focused online marketplaces, concluded the first two of its Bharat-focused Diwali sales on a high note. Snapdeal witnessed a 50 per cent growth over last year from the first two sale editions of this year and is confident of the momentum continuing in...

iWorld e-commerce
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/17/sachin.jpg?itok=tzqdFe5S
Sachin, Sehwag to open for India again

MUMBAI: Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, one of the most fearsome opening batsman of all time Virender Sehwag, the legendary West Indian Brian Lara, lethal Aussie speedster Bret Lee, one of Sri Lanka’s most stylish and dependable batsman of all time Tillakaratne Dilshan and the one and only, who...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/17/sacred-games-2.jpg?itok=Uod5pUBv
Netflix’s mobile-only plan in India exceeds expectations; to help invest more in content

Netflix has bounced back in its Q3 2019 financials by posting revenue of $5.245 billion, which was almost in line with analysts’ prediction of $5.25 billion and was up by 31 per cent y-o-y. While the expected earnings per share were $1.04, Netflix boosted that by delivering $1.47. This is almost...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/17/1.jpg?itok=upOxDFu0
Ali Hussein promoted to CEO at Eros Now

MUMBAI: Ali Hussein has been elevated to the post of chief executive officer (CEO) at Eros Now, the digital arm of Eros International PLC. Hussein joined the organisation as chief operating officer in 2018. His experience spans over 15 years in the media entertainment and digital space. Ali has...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/17/zee5.jpg?itok=u_rdJ2L2
ZEE5 and Wework host discussion on changing landscape of the digital world

MUMBAI: Addressingthe rapidly evolving digital ecosystem in India, ZEE5 India and WeWork India today co-created an evening of discussions on the Changing Landscape of the Digital World.Tarun Katial, CEO – ZEE5 India, India’s fastest growing ConTech brand, and Ryan Bennett, CWeO of WeWork India,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/16/shemaroo.jpg?itok=atyubwGc
ShemarooMe’s platform design gets recognized at ‘India’s Best Design Awards 2019’

MUMBAI: Shemaroo’s video-streaming OTT platform- ShemarooMe's design has bagged India’s Best Design Project 2019 award at the recently concluded ‘India’s Best Design Awards 2019’ organized by Indi Pool for the work done by Fractal Ink Design Studio on its user interface and experience. The award is...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/16/rohit.jpg?itok=id4qqfpn
VICE Media Group taps Rohit Tugnait as Commercial Director, India

MUMBAI: VICE Media Group, the world’s largest independent youth media company, is pleased to announce the appointment of senior media executive Rohit Tugnait as Commercial Director for its India territory.  Tugnait will lead the commercial teams based in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi and will be...

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories