Netflix is facing serious competition from cable providers that are beginning to offer their own streaming services, but Reed Hastings doesn't see why they can't all just get along. The Netflix CEO said yesterday that he envisions a future where his service is offered as a feature of larger cable packages, instead of being seen as a threat.
“It’s not in the short term, but it’s in the natural direction for us in the long term,” Hastings said at a conference in San Francisco sponsored by Morgan Stanley. “Many (cable service providers) would like to have a competitor to HBO, and they would bid us off of HBO.”
While Hastings said he wasn't concerned about copycat online streamers like Amazon Instant Video, he pointed to so-called "TV Everywhere" plans recently announced by Comcast and Verizon as a very real threat. He cited the way that Microsoft and Internet Explorer trounced Netscape in the late '90s as an example.
"You go back to 1995, and you talk to the Netscape sales force and ask them what their No. 1 competition is, and they'd say Spy Glass, which was taking a little market share from them at the time," he said. "But the real competition was Microsoft and bundling."
Hastings would rather Netflix join the cable providers than be attacked as competition.