Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos says the company ran into trouble today with its forecasts for streaming video and DVD rental subscriptions because it’s still adjusting to the decision in July to turn them into separate products. “Being able to precisely forecast and predict the behavior of that many people on a fairly radical change is something we’ll get better at all the time,” he told an audience today at The Paley Media Center. He said that while “it was a sexy headline” to report that the change in Netflix’s offering increased the price of the combined streaming and DVD service by 60%, “that was only for people who chose both.” The number of people taking both services will dwindle. Although “the DVD business has a long life in middle America,” Sarandos says “it’s just not part of our future.” That’s shifted Netflix’s focus to television shows instead of movies. The exec says that lots of consumers also are becoming more interested in the tube as production values have improved. “TV feels more like mini-movies,” he says. But events such as the fall season premieres are becoming less important to the public. “If I really love a show, the first thing I want to do is watch the next episode. Having to wait a week is pretty frustrating.” But Netflix is content to air series — not special events. “We have no sights on sports, or American Idol, or talk shows, or The Daily Show.”
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