Netflix will spend $8 billion on original content this year, but the streaming service won’t be spending any of it on sports or live TV.
That’s the word from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who followed up Netflix’s Oscar win for “Icarus” with a press event inside a 280,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art studio the company opened last year at its Hollywood headquarters.
“One of the most notable things the Netflix chief mentioned is that his streaming service doesn’t have any plans whatsoever to do live TV, even if rivals like Hulu and Amazon’s Prime Video are investing heavily in that space,” Engadget reports.
The publication quotes Hastings saying: “To follow a competitor, never, never, never. We have so much we want to do in our area, so we’re not trying to copy others, whether that’s linear cable, there’s lots of things we don’t do. We don’t do [live] news, we don’t do [live] sports. But what we do do, we try to do really well.”
Hastings acknowledged that competition in the space is fierce, especially with newcomers including Facebook, YouTube and Disney entering the fray. But commenting on the suggestion that Netflix might offer something beyond its on-demand content, he said: “If we do our own Prime service, we’ll never succeed.”
“He added that what hurts Netflix’s competitors is that ‘their strategy is to win by being broad, you know, a little bit of everything.’ Hastings said it’s also key to ensure customers that they’re never going to see ads on a Netflix product, despite the potential for lower prices and creating more revenue,” Engadget reports, adding: “Hastings didn’t have to mention Hulu or YouTube by name to know those are the platforms he was referring to.”
Hastings added: “Really having great experience — no advertisements or chopping up all of the content — vastly outweighs the fact that one company is gaining a lot of influence.”