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  • 10.24.16

Netflix’s Reed Hastings: “We’re tiny!”

I’m at the Wall Street Journal‘s WSJ.D Live conference in Laguna Beach, California. The very first speaker at the opening dinner is Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. A few tidbits from his conversation with the Journal’s Dennis Berman:

 • The company is fine with the idea of AT&T buying Time Warner as long as HBO’s bits get treated the same as Netflix’s.

• The company’s increasingly global scale is reflected in its show Narcos, which “is made by a French company in Bogata, Colombia, with a Brazilian star. That’s what we see as the future for us.”

• Netflix currently has 87 million subscribers, but in terms of its aspirations: “How many people use Facebook every day? A billion? We’re tiny!” But “our goal is to make our current customers happy, and then we’ll see how fast we grow.”

• “Fundamentally we’re about eliminating loneliness and boredom . . . that’s what entertainment does.”

• He’s excited about The Crown, an upcoming series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. “If you can recognize Winston Churchill’s voice, you will love this show.”

• Short term, VR is mostly interesting for gaming. “You do it for half an hour, and you’re exhausted.”

• “We compete against YouTube, against Snapchat, against everything you do to relax.” Including board games and sleep.

•  People think that Kodak blew it by not getting into digital cameras, but “the fundamental thing that Kodak offered, sharing memories, became Facebook and Instagram.”HM