Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings identified his streaming-video company’s chief rival and explained why, Bloomberg reports.
Hastings pointed to HBO, noting that he most fears HBO Go, the pay-TV service’s that allows viewers to watch content from a variety of devices, the story reports.
"HBO is becoming more Netflix-like and we’re becoming more HBO-like. The two of us will compete for a very long time," Hastings said at a UBS media conference in New York.
Hastings downplayed other competitors, such as Amazon.com, noting that those newcomers will have to spend as much as $2 billion per year on content, the story says.
Netflix won’t have a quick path back to profitability after angering customers with a price increase and an ill-fated plan to split online streaming from DVD-by-mail, Hastings said, according to the story. Nevertheless, he added that he’s "very optimistic" the company can produce "substantial" subscriber gains in 2012, the piece adds.
Hastings declined to comment on whether he’s interested in selling Netflix, which has dropped to $3.77 billion in market value from $16 billion in less than five months, according to the article.