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.”