Netflix helm, Reed Hastings, looks forward to the union between mobile carrier AT&T and Time Warner, the HBO parent company. In the Wall Street Journal's tech conference on Monday, Oct. 24, Hastings pointed out that the merger sounds good, provided that HBO and Netflix get equal treatment from regulators.
Hastings thinks the deal between AT&T and Time Warner could yield positive results, and underlined that his main focus is on net neutrality, which proposes equal treatment for all types of content regardless of internet service providers' preferences.
Net Neutrality As Big Factor
“The key thing is whether there is going to be net neutrality, which hasn’t been AT&T’s favorite topic,” he said.
Hastings also noted that AT&T might deploy an aggressive strategy that could make it "a national competitor to all of the cable companies." He underlined that consumers would only gain if such a plan would come to be.
Reporters asked the Netflix CEO if his company is considering buying Time Warner, but Hastings avoided a straight answer. However, he did not shy away from reminding the audience of some of the highly successful original content that his company is crafting.
Netflix used to broadcast commended original content such as Narcos and House of Cards, and recently pooled its efforts into delivering its first ambitious in-house production, Stranger Things. The show was highly praised by critics and regular viewers alike, heralding a bright future for Hastings and his company.
"We're going to evolve past just the Hollywood enclave and really try to unleash the world's great, high-end creators," he said.
Netflix is present in 130 countries, and has business ties with more than 600 ISPs, showing that Hastings is very pragmatic about reaching consumers from various markets. However, he pointed out that Netflix aims to go toe-to-toe with social media and apps, but it will take time and effort to get there.
Future Of Netflix: Entertainment Drugs
The Netflix CEO pointed out that the future might be in VR, gaming or even in the pharma industry, and his company is keen on tapping into the next big thing to catch the audience's attention.
He mockingly explained that we might rely on a Matrix-like pill for the entertainment of the future, which will place content providers "in real trouble."
Hastings stressed that his company is adept at transforming "money into joy" and "eliminating boredom and loneliness."
The company's recent quarterly results show that the viewers are flocking to it, with 3.2 million new subscribers. This could be a strong incentive for AT&T to shell out cash for the purchase of original content.
The deal was announced on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 22 and would give the carrier control of cable TV channels HBO and CNN, film studio Warner Bros. and other coveted assets.