Netflix can be accessed via a number of platforms, including streaming TV hardware, as we all know. But what many of us don’t know is that Netflix wanted to develop its own set-top box, says a report from Business Insider.
Netflix had a bigger vision
Netflix was very serious about making its own set-top box, and in 2007, it even started shooting promotional videos for it to be shown on its website. However, the company scrapped the project at the last moment and has kept it a secret since then.
This little-known secret is out now thanks largely to Netflix’s ex-director of global marketing, Barry Enderwick. Explaining why the streaming firm ditched the plan in which it invested a lot of time and money, Enderwick said the company’s vision got bigger than to develop a set-top box.
Rather than making its own hardware, Netflix decided to expand its services to every device capable of connecting to the internet. And for this reason, it would have to convince the tech giants — Microsoft, Samsung and Sony – to carry its content on their devices, such as gaming consoles, streaming devices and Blu-ray players.
At the same time, if Netflix was selling its own hardware, then it would have become difficult for it to convince these tech firms to carry its content. And that is why it decided to scrap its set-top box plans at the last moment.
Was Netflix’s decision right?
Enderwick says hardware was not the company’s specialty.
“Hardware was an industry that we had no internal knowledge of until we hired Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku,” Enderwick said.
This in no way indicates that Netflix’s unreleased set-top box was not good enough, but nothing can be said as the product never came to the market and Netflix thought it would be good for its overall business to partner with tech giants rather than compete with them.
If Netflix would have launched such a product, it would have faced competition from the Apple TV, which debuted in 2007, and the first Roku Box, which came in 2008. However, now it can be said that Netflix’s decision of not to launch its own hardware was indeed right, as the company has been able to successfully expand its services not only in the U.S. but also in other parts of the world.