At the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco Tuesday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings stated that he envisions cable TV evolving into an on-demand internet platform, and that Netflix will become just another cable provider. “It’s not in the short term, but it’s in the natural direction for us in the long term. Many (cable service providers) would like to have a competitor to HBO, and they would bid us off of HBO,” said Reed.
Hastings went on to identify HBO’s Go service as being a a top competitor to Netflix, and downplayed what he refeered to as “copycat” competitors, naming Amazon and their Instant Video service. “It’s very easy for companies to over-estimate copycat competition and not see the real threat,” said Hastings, who went on to cite long-defunct internet browser Netscape – “You go back to 1995, and you talk to the Netscape sales force and ask them what their No. 1 competition is, and they’d say Spy Glass, which was taking a little market share from them at the time. But the real competition was Microsoft and bundling.”
Hastings made his remarks on the same day HBO announced that Go would be available on Xbox Live on April 1st, the same day as the season premiere of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones. Hastings also mentioned that in the Netflix focus on HBO’s evolution, producing original content is very relevant, along with pushing availability on multiple platforms. So, there might be a Netflix-produced series down the line.