Netflix is on a tear. Subscriber count is up to 16.9 million, the stock price is up and the company just launched in Canada. Things are good in Netflixland but there’s change in the air and Netflix’s CEO, Reed Hastings, knows it, “Three years ago we were a DVD-by-mail company that offered some streaming. We are now a streaming company, which also offers DVD-by-mail.” So how about a streaming-only plan, Reed? Can we have one of those like the Canadians?
The company revealed yesterday in an earnings call that a streaming service, like the one in the great white North, is undergoing testing right now. If everything pans out, it could be available sometime later this year. So with all this talk about streaming services and massive subscriber growth, you would think that people are opting for Netflix and canceling their cable, right? Well, no. Netflix doesn’t see that trend.
Responding to a question during yesterday’s earnings call, Hastings told analysts he doesn’t see any evidence that his customers are choosing Netflix instead of cable. They’re using it augment their cable subscription, he said: “We still see no evidence that our subscribers cut cords at a greater rate than the population.”
Certain some people are canceling their cable and using Netflix in conjunction with media streamers like the Roku or Apple TV, but apparently not in droves. There’s something about live content that streaming services cannot replace.