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Reed Hastings says Netflix will not be part of Apple’s new TV app

The streaming leader delivered his version of a White House press briefing, expounding on not only Apple, but also advertising, Fortnite, and Ricky Gervais

Reed Hastings says Netflix will not be part of Apple’s new TV app
CEO Reed Hastings [Photo: Mondileinchen/Wikimedia Commons]

At a press event at Netflix’s Hollywood outpost on Monday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took questions from a group of international journalists about everything from new competition from Apple and how Netflix will not be on its new video service; to Roma‘s Oscar win; to his feelings about Facebook (he’s a board member). He dodged that last one, but otherwise, Hastings, dressed in jeans and a cobalt blue T-shirt and matching jacket, bounced across a wide array of subjects with affable ease, responding in short, soundbite-ready quotes.

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Here are some outtakes:

ON STREAMING COMPETITION: 

“There are a lot of new competitors. It’s very exciting. Amazon is spending $4 to $5 billion on content. We spend about twice that. Disney, WarnerMedia, and others [are debuting this year], but the reality is they’ve been in the business for a long time, and we compete with all kinds of entertainment time already. Sometimes we think of YouTube as a great partner because we advertise there and our content is there. But sometimes we think of them as a competitor. That’s how it is with everyone. 

“It used to be, we had to beat HBO. In the U.S., we’ve grown tremendously and yet HBO has also grown. HBO has grown from 30 million to about 42 million. So you can see that our success doesn’t determine their success.” 

ON INTERACTIVE CONTENT:

“Like many of you, I got addicted to Bandersnatch. What’s the significance of the cereal or not the cereal? All the different options. And it’s a neat experience. I don’t know if I would do it every day, but as part of my viewing experience it’s pretty exciting.” 

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ON THE POSSIBILITY OF NETFLIX GETTING INTO LIVE TV OR LIVE SPORTS: 

“No plans on live.” 

ON THE POSSIBILITY OF NETFLIX GETTING INTO ADVERTISING: 

“No plans on advertising.” 

ON SHARING CONTENT WITH OTHER PARTNERS AS WITH THE FRIENDS DEAL: 

Friends is an amazing, iconic, and unusual title. It never really was that exclusive. It’s been on linear TV. It’s more like a special case. Generally the model we’ll follow is shows that we can produce and that are known as Netflix content and [are] exclusive.” 

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ON STEVEN SPIELBERG’S ARGUMENT THAT OSCARS SHOULD ONLY GO TO FILMS RELEASED IN THEATERS: 

“Today the rules are the rules they are. We comply fully with those rules. I think all of you would say Roma is an Oscar-quality movie. We believe films should be judged based on artistic merits, not around their windowing strategy.”  

ON WHETHER HE WANTS TO WIN OSCARS: 

“We’ve been winning Oscars.” 

ON WHY NETFLIX CONTENT WILL NOT BE ON APPLE’S NEW VIDEO STREAMING SERVICE:

“Apple is a great company. We want to have people watch our shows on our service, not their service.” 

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ON HOW TO COMPETE WITH FORTNITE:

“We do well against gaming by doing better movies and TV shows. By making the best entertainment possible. We compete against all users of digital screen time. Gaming, linear TV–there are many different uses. It’s not just Netflix versus Amazon. The way we compete is just to do the best series and best movies we can do.” 

ON NETFLIX’S TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGES: 

“I have a list a hundred [items] long of the tech challenges. Cloud infrastructure, making it more efficient. Making personalization better. Making streaming start faster. Making everything easier to use.”  

ON WHAT HE’S WATCHING NOW: 

After Life, the Ricky Gervais show. I’m generally only a mixed Ricky Gervais fan. Derek was too odd for me. But this show has some [sort] of connection, the way his characters develop. I was binging on it this morning.” 

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About the author

Nicole LaPorte is an LA-based senior writer for Fast Company who writes about where technology and entertainment intersect. She previously was a columnist for The New York Times and a staff writer for Newsweek/The Daily Beast and Variety

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