Can Netflix Take on HBO?
In Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings’ mind, no one should have to spend $150 on a monthly cable bill and no one should have to wait to watch a television show’s next episode or next season. That is why he is attempting to “become HBO faster than HBO can become” Netflix. As he told GQ, this will solve what he sees as the primary problem with modern entertainment: that all it delivers is “managed dissatisfaction.”
“The point of managed dissatisfaction is waiting. You’re supposed to wait for your show that comes on Wednesday at 8 p.m., wait for the new season, see all the ads everywhere for the new season, talk to your friends at the office about how excited you are,” he explained to the publication.
To offer a wide breadth of content, which Hastings hopes will make $150 cable subscriptions and Time Warner’s (NYSE:TWX) HBO unnecessary, Netflix will produce its own content. The company’s chief content executive, Ted Sarandos, aims at making at least five original programs per year, according to The Verge. He currently has $300 million in his budget, which has enabled the streaming-video provider to create its first original programming lineup: House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Hemlock Grove, a second season of Lilyhammer, and the fourth season of Arrested Development. House of Cards is set to start airing on February 1, and it cost Netflix $100 million just to hire Fight Club’s David Fincher to direct the series.