Reed Hastings: Netflix Will Look More and More Like a Cable Channel

39 REP Reed Hastings H
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The CEO says he might even consider pitching the streaming service as part of a bundled package of more traditional TV offerings.

In case there was any doubt that Netflix sees itself as a competing TV channel, CEO Reed Hastings said Tuesday that in the future he might want it to be included as part of a bundled cable package.

Hastings said that it’s getting tougher to convince cable TV to share rights to their shows – “they’re just being good capitalists” – so Netflix has been striking more exclusive deals with content creators and paying cable-TV prices to do so. Plus, it has been creating more content of its own.

Hastings was speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco.

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He said “the moment of truth” comes when a Netflix subscriber hits the remote and chooses between a cable TV channel or watching Netflix content on-demand.

Becoming something akin to a cable channel that’s bundled to consumers isn’t something Hastings envisions in the short term, but it’s the company’s “natural direction,” he said.

Eventually, Netflix could look like HBO, with 40 percent of the content its own and 60 percent coming from other sources.

TV Everywhere from the cable companies, in fact, is the biggest competitive threat to Netflix, which is why, he said, Netflix has begun to focus a good part of its resources and energy on original content.