Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings made a very controversial statement after an WSJD Live interview. He hinted that the future may involve a “Matrix-like” hallucinogen that will bring entertainment to new heights.
When it comes to entertainment, movies and TV are not the only rivals of Netflix. In fact, any form of entertainment – be it social media, video games, books, or virtual reality – is a threat to the company.
Netflix’s boss was then asked about his opinion about the future of entertainment. Hastings’ answers were quite contentious. He spoke about a “substitute” to movies and TV shows that might go mainstream in the future.
He mentioned a “blue pill” that will make users hallucinate in an entertaining way. This statement presented itself as both scary and intriguing. Hastings was particularly basing this musing out from the sci-fi movie “The Matrix.”
“In twenty or fifty years, taking a personalized blue pill you just hallucinate in an entertaining way and then a white pill brings you back to normality is perfectly viable,” Hastings said.
When asked further about this concept, it wasn’t clear how Netflix will compete with these “futuristic hallucinogen pills” or if the company would be interested in dipping their toes into this unknown and debatable form of storytelling.
Meanwhile, Hastings also divulged regarding their competitors and their plan of action to draw in more customers. He noted that one major factor that will increase their growth is their new partnership with overseas company Liberty Global and American company Comcast.
He mentioned that this move will help Netflix become more convenient and accessible for their customers. The big boss also talked about content creation costs. He said Netflix is shifting away from licensing deals as it aims on creating more original content. Although this strategy requires more money, the potential is bigger when it comes to ripping rewards in terms of new additions and greener balance sheet.
By comparison, Netflix is small if you compare it to other entertainment giants. But Hastings used other Silicon Valley big names as his point of reference. With around 87 million subscribers worldwide, he admitted that Netflix it’s still a long long way from reaching Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) multi-billions user status.
However, Hastings, who is one of Facebook’s directors, said that Netflix’s subscribers are similar to that of the social networking giant’s. They have around 80% of their users outside of North America so they take this as a potential avenue growth-wise.
Netflix started rolling out their services to other countries in recent months. Although there are a lot of improvements that need to be addressed when it comes to Netflix’s subscription-base outside the U.S., this is a major component which if rightly approached could drastically grow their market.