Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is not worried about the rumors of Apple entering the video streaming business, although Netflix investors are. On Tuesday, a decline of 8% was noted in the company’s shares after reports of Apple considering a move into original programming. If it’s true, it could prove to be a challenge for the streaming service and traditional TV networks.
Netflix focusing on content and expansion
On Wednesday, Hastings told CNN that several companies are doing shows, and it’s nothing new. “HBO is doing shows, FX are doing shows … so the fact that additional tech companies may be doing shows, that’s really not that big a deal given the total number of shows being produced around the world,” Hastings said.
Netflix’s CEO said the company is focusing on producing great shows and cited the example of a new show called Narcos. This program explores the history of cocaine. Netflix is entering Japan this week, and Hastings said he plans to enter all major Asian countries by next year, including China and India.
Netflix stock has seen growth of more than 100% thist year so far. On Monday, Netflix announced that its distribution deal with Epix will expire soon, and it has no plans of renewing it. A decline of 2% was noted in the company’s stock that day. Popular movies from major studios like Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount were included in that deal. Soon after Netflix’s statement, Hulu, another major streaming service provider, announced that it has entered into a deal with Epix.
Apple is up to something, but what?
Apple’s plans are not clear as for now. The only thing known with certainty is that Apple is approaching entertainment executives. Apple has reached out to Hollywood, and an executive familiar with the matter told CNN that the company is evaluating whether or not it should start to “bankroll original TV shows and movies.” The deep-pocketed smartphone maker could possibly become a new buyer of content from Hollywood studios. However, the source suggested that it is in the “very early days.”
It is possible that Apple is only looking to expand what it is already offering with Apple Music, probably by financing music documentaries or concert films, says the report. But the fact that Apple is conducting meetings with Hollywood at a time when there is intense competition in the video streaming industry for attention and subscription dollars can’t be ignored.