Go on any of the boards of an article on this site about the Disney+ streaming service and you’ll inevitably find someone suggesting Netflix’s demise is a fait accompli.
Nothing could be further from the truth says Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos who is bracing for the coming ‘streaming wars’ which officially kick into high gear with the launch of Apple TV+ next Friday.
Speaking at the Vanity Fair Summit today, Sarandos was asked how is Netflix feeling now that the ‘sharks are circling’. He responded: “we’ve been competing since Day One” and the company has one big advantage over companies like Apple and Disney:
“We have one product. We make great television and films for our customers …and we have to keep doing that… We’re about change and keeping things fresh.”
He’s not worried about losing popular content like “Friends” or “The Office” either as the company’s push in original programming and its international content growth will mitigate that damage. In fact, he suggests it will be to those show’s loss they’re leaving:
“One of the reasons ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office’ are so popular is because they’re on Netflix. You imagine what happens when your kid comes to school: ‘I just saw this new show called ‘Friends’… part of the enduring success of the shows is they’ve been available on Netflix in a way that people can watch them and ingrain them in their lives. Part of it also is: they sit down they push play and there it is. ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office’ found them, too, on Netflix. Remember, ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office’ have been widely syndicated for years, still are. … A lot of that phenomenon has been because of Netflix.”
He adds that if those shows were on something like the short-lived ‘Seeso’, they certainly wouldn’t have had such success. Sarandos was also very quick to assure everyone that unlike Fox and many other media companies, Netflix is not for sale saying “we have no plans to sell” and he has “never discussed selling the company” with CEO Reed Hastings.
The talk comes as The Verge has published a letter from Netflix sent to the United Kingdom Parliament committee which explains how Netflix classifies viewers and uses that to inform how they count towards the viewership numbers.
Specifically, there are three types – starters, watchers and completers. Each is defined by how much a household watches of a film or series episode. Respectively it’s two minutes (or less), 70% and at least 90%. When Netflix announces their viewership numbers, they mean people who fit into the watchers and completers categories.
Source: The Playlist