Amazon is 'awfully scary,' says Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

Anita Tucker
June 3, 2017

If this means Netflix is going to start making more great shows, it's fine with us.

Amazon is an "awfully scary" competitor, but Hastings is not sure if it is Netflix's biggest threat.

Up until a couple of years ago, the battle for the largest audience was between networks and cable but as the medium through which we consume content has shifted, the rivalry is between platforms like Netflix and Amazon whose emergence and success has changed industry norms. "There is so much competition".

"They are awfully scary I would say", the CEO continued. "We said no more improvement then we would saturate but we are continuing to improve Netflix".

It's not every day that the CEO of a company announces that they want to cancel more of their products, but that's the case today with the chief of Netflix.

Cannes should focus on the artistic quality of movies, instead of being influenced by the politics and commercial leanings of festival's board of directors, Hastings said at the Code Conference.

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"We're big enough to get the deals we want", he said at the Conference.

Hastings also talked about Netflix's plans to spend more money on original content, and the company is prepared to spend about $6 billion in 2017 with the budget going up in the future. Netflix, which will always be a streaming platform over anything else, wants its original films to be available for streaming when they debut. So think of it as they're trying to be Walmart, we're trying to be Starbucks.

This is similar to those old adages like "you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take" and "I didn't fail, I just discovered 1,000 ways not to make a lightbulb".

Hastings spoke on a variety of topics-from streaming video rivals to the recent kerfuffle over Netflix movies screening at the Cannes Film Festival-in a pair of interviews on Wednesday afternoon.

Hastings' assessment reflects similar thoughts in various industries, from retail to cloud computing, book publishing, streaming music and logistics - all businesses that are being ruffled by Amazon as it stretches its operations across the economic landscape.

Netflix's rapid rise from a mail order DVD rental service in 1997 to become the dominant global video streaming service has taken the world by storm and now they have almost 100 million people on their books. Netflix and its ilk won a major battle previous year when an appeals court upheld new FCC rules that would try to keep the Internet unfettered.

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