Netflix CEO Interview
WSJ: Why does Netflix face a lot of questions from analysts about the sustainability of its business even though you’re showing strong growth?
Hastings: That’s easy. We’re sure that we’re going to be buying cars in 25 years, whereas renting DVDs through the mail in 25 years? For sure that’s not going to exist. That’s what creates the overhang — there’s a known obsolescence. Now we can argue about whether that’s 10 years or 25 years [away]. Some people probably think it’s five. I think they’re wrong. It’s probably more like 20.
WSJ: So it’s a question of when, not if, DVD rentals will go away.
Hastings: That’s exactly right. If one thinks of Netflix as a DVD rental business, one is right to be scared. If one thinks of Netflix as an online movie service with multiple different delivery models, then one’s a lot less scared. We’re only now starting to deliver the proof points behind that second vision.