Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Likes Elon Musk, Video Games, And Binge Watching


Netflix doesn’t want to pitch to Microsoft. I want to get really deep into the game business. Elon Musk is a brave man. And did Netflix ever say they really, really want to be in the game?

These were some of the takeaways from Netflix co-founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings’ attendance at today’s New York Times Dealbook conference, and we’ll go into more detail soon.

But first a little background. I attended today’s event because it was a very rare opportunity to see Hastings speak in public. And he certainly hasn’t heard much from Hastings since Netflix announced a shocking subscriber drop in April.

These announcements and the implications behind them — if Netflix, the clear leader in streaming, was already starting to run into growth and revenue problems, it means everyone who follows Netflix faces the same problems. It meant — an industry pioneered by Netflix that fueled media investor sullenness over streaming.

And, as Dealbook host Andrew Ross Sorkin pointed out, the last time Hastings was in New York for the conference was three years ago, months before the pandemic put much of the world on lockdown. , at a time when Netflix was the North Star of streaming. Almost no competition. But if Hastings wants to cast a guilt over his streaming mistakes, or almost any other mistake, then this interview will disappoint. .

But since this was a broad interview and it wasn’t streamed, I’d like to pull out some highlights here.

Games, games, games: Netflix has announced its first foray into video games in the spring of 2021. Looking back, the move was a clear sign that he was more concerned about the future of streaming than most of us realized at the time. Since then, Netflix has acquired several small game studios and released dozens of casual games. However, neither the gaming industry nor Wall Street seem to see Netflix as a true competitor for games. Interestingly, throughout the interview, Hastings spoke repeatedly about his interest in gaming without prompting. Netflix has repeatedly said it wants to make great TV shows, movies and games. Also, when asked about his Netflix interest in entering the well-reported sport, he responded: We invest a lot in our games. ” message received.

Speaking of sports: Hastings wasn’t directly asked about Netflix bidding for sports rights (although other executives in the space told me that Netflix does). But when asked about his move to livestream the recently announced Chris Rock comedy special next year, Hastings was quick to dismiss the idea that this was a precursor to livestreaming sports. Not true.” According to him, live streaming is used for comedy and perhaps things like “competitor shows,” which sounds like sports to me, but Netflix’s “Love Is Blind” reality show/competition. I think it means something like

netflix + microsoft = ? Asked why Netflix chose Microsoft as a partner in its advertising business, Hastings clarified that Microsoft paid Netflix a lot. Or, in his words, “they were willing to be very aggressive with this deal.” However, Hastings insisted that this did not mean his eventual sale to Microsoft, which many industry insiders had speculated. “It’s not normal to do business with people you’re trying to acquire,” he said. “It makes it more complicated rather than lessening it.”

Sticking to binge eating, Chapelle: One of the many things Hollywood thinks Netflix should do to be like Hollywood is to scrap the tradition of dropping all shows at once. I started (this summer I split the latest stranger things season into 2 chunks). But Hastings says Netflix won’t be getting rid of it. Because other streamers need to spread their shows. Because there aren’t that many shows that people like. And because customers love it.

He said it doesn’t make sense to ask customers if they like a world where they have to wait a week to see new episodes. These specials have been a huge hit for the service and “we do them over and over again,” he said.

Elon and Mark: Former Meta board member Hastings modestly praised Mark Zuckerberg’s forays into virtual reality and the Metaverse. He said. “[But] I don’t know if that would be great for shareholders. ”

Hastings was full of admiration for Elon Musk, whom he called “the bravest, most creative man on the planet.” Hastings said Musk’s personal style was more bombastic than his, but said Musk’s critics misunderstood it. For example, kudos to him for paying Twitter $44 billion instead of building a really big yacht. “Let this man rest.”


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *