Reed Hastings has helped take Netflix from a mail-order DVD service and turn it into the most prominent direct-to-consumer platform in the world. As a pioneer of streaming video, he might know a thing or two about the upcoming SVOD market saturation many are calling "The Streaming Wars." Hastings was on hand on the New York Times DealBook Conference this week, where he revealed he doesn't think the success of a streaming platform should be measured in subscribers. Rather, the chief exec says, success should be measured by how much time people are spending on the platform.
"Time will be the real competition," Hastings said (via CNBC). "You'll hear some subscriber numbers but you can just bundle things so that's not going to be that relevant. So the real measurement will be time -- how do consumers vote with their evenings? What mix of all the services do they end up watching?"
"When you think 'do I turn on cable, do I turn on YouTube, do I turn on Netflix?', we want you to choose Netflix," Hastings asked those in attendance.
Coincidentally enough, Hastings' comments come days before The Walt Disney Company launches Disney+, arguably the biggest competitor the streaming giant has had to date. In the same chat, Hastings predicting the television rating gurus at Nielsen would begin measuring the success of streaming video platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, and others as they launch.
If you're wondering what Hastings thinks about the upcoming launch of Disney+, he doesn't seem phased. In fact, he admitted during his chat he fully intends on becoming a subscriber when it launches November 12th. Hastings added, "Disney's the one we have the most to learn from in terms of entertainment. They have great shows!"
What streaming platforms will you plan on subscribing to once Disney+, Peacock, and HBO Max all launch? What services are you subscribed to right now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or by tweeting me at @AdamBarnhardt to chat all things streaming video!
Photo by Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images / Netflix