If Netflix execs are concerned about Hulu’s plan to launch a live streaming service along with video on demand, they aren’t showing it.
“We haven’t seen impact from existing Hulu” services, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told investors in a conference call today. In addition, Netflix penetration among users of Dish Network’s live streaming Sling TV “is quite high.”
He characterized the Hulu plans as “cable getting better.”
Nor is the company concerned that Hulu’s owners — Disney, Fox, and Comcast — will begin to shuttle their best shows to the platform, leaving Netflix in the cold.
“They’re in the business of selling their content to the highest bidder,” Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said. If sellers play favorites, then “they have participation problems with the talent that they have to work through.”
If that changed, then “it would meaningfully change the economics for those networks and studios. I’m pretty confident it will be business as usual.”
Netflix plans to continue making big outlays for original programming and attracting producers who want to sell into other markets.
“An original show from Netflix can be just as attractive as a show from any network in the United States when licensing for territories around the world,” Sarandos said. “There’s a huge appetite for them around the world.”
Many of today’s questions to the execs dealt with Netflix’s subscriber shortfall in Q2 — and lighter-than-expected forecast for Q3. The disclosure sent shares down 13.6% in postmarket trading.
“We apologize for the volatility,” Hastings said. “I know it’s not easy on everyone. … The big picture is very much intact.”
Execs say that the problem is mostly what they repeatedly called the “ungrandfathering” of a roughly $1 price increase announced in October that hit long-term customers over the course of this year.
As for the current quarter, CFO David Wells says he expects a “small but still meaningful impact” worldwide from next month’s Olympics in Brazil.