In a year, Netflix’s competition shifted from Hulu to HBO to everything

Netflix recently updated its “long-term view,” the company’s refreshingly candid assessment of its place within the internet video industry. Which means, if you care about Netflix, you should go read it now. Or better yet, read BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield’s assessment of what has changed from th…

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 digital No Comments

Netflix Checks With Pirates to Decide Which Shows to Buy


Netflix Checks With Pirates to Decide Which Shows to Buy

The hardest part of beating piracy is finding a way to compete with free. Netflix does it by making things dumb easy, that and purposefully picking up shows that are popular with pirates.

Tags: , , , ,

Saturday, September 14th, 2013 news No Comments

Most TV Viewers Find Themselves Gravitating to Cable Over Network Programs



TV viewers are less convinced about the superiority of programs found on premium channels, though: only 4 in 10 agree that the shows on pay cable TV (such as HBO and Showtime) are better than basic cable shows (on channels such as FX and AMC).

Premium channels appear to be under fire from over-the-top (OTT) options such as Netflix, with its original programming possibly seen as an alternative to premium cable. Indeed, recent research from GfK suggests that Netflix users are watching less premium cable as a result of their subscriptions. Moreover, a study from Centris Marketing Sciences found a dip in the number of households with children subscribing to premium channels during Q2.

While Centris also saw a rise in the number of those households subscribing to OTT options, the Harris survey results indicate that only one-third of TV viewers find themselves watching more and more TV via streaming, with more than 6 in 10 disagreeing that that was the case.

Separately, the Harris Poll looks at the types of shows that are most popular with Americans. Asked the 2 types of shows they would say are their favorites, respondents pointed to comedy! /sitcoms ! (39%) and detective/crime shows (32%) first, followed by news (24%), drama (23%) and reality/competition (19%).

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 news No Comments

Holy, Netflix!


Reed Hastings

Netflix’s stock just hit an all-time high of $313 a share.

This wouldn’t be so remarkable except for what happened two years ago.

Two years ago, after a remarkable multi-year run on the strength of a new video streaming business, Netflix stock blew through $300 a share for the first time.

Netflix, everyone was convinced, had discovered the Next Big Thing.

Netflix was on its way to becoming The Next HBO.

Netflix was going to disrupt and revolutionize the television business and make anyone who bet on it fabulously rich.

But then Netflix made a significant mistake.

Netflix announced that it was going to split itself into two different companies. One company would contain Netflix’s original DVDs-by-mail business. The other company would be the streaming business. Netflix was going to split into two companies, it explained, because the DVDs-by-mail business was a dying business, and the future was the streaming business.

Well, the market hated that idea.

Despite the fact that absolutely nothing at Netflix’s businesses had changed, the market destroyed Netflix’s stock price. The stock crashed by 75% in three months, to $65 a share. The company, some people said, was obviously going out of business.

Why did Netflix make this mistake?

Because Netflix is run by humans.

Extraordinarily talented, brilliant humans, but humans. And humans occasionally make mistakes.

But did the market conclude that the extraordinarily talented, brilliant humans who ran Netflix had just made a relatively rare mistake?


The market concluded that the humans who ran Netflix were so unfathomably stupid that Netflix was obviously screwed.

That Netflix founder and CEO who had been lionized as a genius on the cover of all those magazines, for example?


Obvio usly an idiot.

Netflix was a terrible company, the market agreed. No price was too low for the company’s stock.

But now, a mere two years later, Netflix is up 400% from the low and setting a new all-time high.


Did Netflix pull off some magic recovery?

Did Netflix introduce some revolutionary new product that no one saw coming?


Netflix just did its thing–the same thing it was doing when the market threw up in disgust and pulverized Netflix’s stock price.

Netflix just kept investing in its streaming business.

And, just as many long-term Netflix investors had hoped, the streaming business has turned out to be a pretty good thing.

So, what’s the moral of the Netflix story?

The same moral as the story of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and many other excellent companies:

Ignore Wall Street.

Wall Street is so hyperactive and bi-polar, and so obsessed with meaningless short-term results, that Wall Street causes countless pretty good managers and companies to worry about all the wrong things.

Want to create the most possible value for shareholders?

Then start by creating the most possible value for your customers.

Put your customers first, and, over the long haul, your stock price will take care of itself.

Well done, Netflix!