×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Reed Hastings: Netflix Does Stories for Every Screen, Not Mobile-Optimized Content

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings thinks that mobile screens aren’t just for snackable content. “I watched ‘The Crown’ on mobile, and it was incredible,” he said during a keynote fireside chat at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Monday, adding with a smirk: “When I told the writer Peter Morgan about that, he was aghast.”

The point Hastings tried to make with that anecdote was that Netflix isn’t looking to produce mobile-optimized videos. “We don’t design for mobile,” he said. Instead, the company is trying to make sure that all of its shows and movies look as good as possible on mobile devices, where bandwidth is often limited.

“What we have done is invest in the codecs,” Hastings said. By optimizing video encoding, Netflix aims to give consumers good-looking streams at a fraction of the bandwidth that HD video used to take, and cut down on buffering at the same time. Having no noticeable delays before a show starts “really changes your relationship to the service,” Hastings said.

That being said, Hastings didn’t rule out that Netflix may change its tune if viewing habits evolve, or other technologies emerge. After having been dismissive of virtual reality in the past, Hastings said Monday that it could be on the horizon for the future: “If virtual reality takes off, we will adapt to that.” He also said that Netflix may look at vertical video “some day.”

Speaking of Netflix’s increasingly global programming, Hastings said that the company is starting to see shows not made in the U.S. or Western Europe succeed in those markets. The example he cited was “3%,” a Brazilian Sci-Fi drama that has done well in the U.S., Germany and Spain, according to Hastings.

Asked where Netflix will be in 15 or 20 years, Hastings quipped that Netflix may have to find a new role in a world transformed by artificial intelligence (AI): “I’m not sure if we are going to be entertaining you or entertaining AIs.

More Digital

  • Westworld Season 2 HBO

    Facebook Has Talked With HBO, Showtime and Other Networks but It's Unlikely to Proceed With Pay-TV Idea

    Is Facebook about to become cable TV provider? Don’t bet on it. The social giant has held informal discussions with cable networks including HBO and Showtime Networks about potentially offering subscriptions to their streaming services on Facebook, multiple sources tell Variety, confirming a Recode report last week that first reported the talks. However, Facebook currently [...]

  • Ed Sheeran Shape of You

    Ed Sheeran, Clean Bandit Top Shazam’s 2018 Year-End Lists

    Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato’s song “Solo” was the most-Shazamed song and Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” was the longest running No. 1 track on the service’s global charts, the company revealed today in its year-end lists. Nicky Jam and J Balvin’s “X” was the No. 2 most-Shazamed song and Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa’s “One Kiss” [...]

  • Remote for Android TV-Based TiVo Device

    TiVo FCC Filing Suggests Android TV Device Coming in Time for CES

    A filing for a new TiVo remote control suggests that the company may be getting ready to show an Android TV-based set-top box at CES in Las Vegas next month. The device likely won’t be sold to end users, but instead ship to TV operators looking to combine TiVo’s DVR capabilities with Google’s TV platform. [...]

  • Telemundo to Launch English-Language Newscast With

    Telemundo to Launch First English-Language Newscast on YouTube (EXCLUSIVE)

    NBCUniversal’s Hispanic broadcaster Telemundo is developing its first English-language newscast in collaboration with YouTube in a bid to tap the burgeoning U.S. Hispanic youth demographic. Borne out of a YouTube grant aimed at awarding journalism projects that “elevate quality journalism, evolve business models to drive sustainable growth, and empower news organizations through technological innovation,” Telemundo News’ [...]

  • Wall Street Journal Site Hacked With

    Wall Street Journal Site Hacked With Pro-PewDiePie Message

    PewDiePie’s ongoing battle to keep his channel’s YouTube subscriber count No. 1 ahead of India’s T-Series took another bizarre twist: A branded-content section of the Wall Street Journal’s website was hacked with a fake message apologizing to PewDiePie and urging people to subscribe to his channel. A spokeswoman for Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the [...]

  • YouTube - Comcast Xfinity X1

    YouTube 4K Content Goes Live on Comcast's Xfinity X1 Set-Tops

    Comcast television subscribers can now enjoy YouTube in ultra-high definition: The Google-owned video service is now serving up 4K videos on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 set-top boxes, the cable company announced Monday. X1 owners who also happen to have a X1 voice remote can get access to a curated selection of 4K content by asking the [...]

  • Google - 315 Hudson Street

    Google Plans to Spend Over $1 Billion on New York City Campus

    Google has set plans to dramatically boost its footprint in New York City: The internet giant said it will invest more than $1 billion to establish a new 1.7-million-square-foot campus, Google Hudson Square, in Manhattan. The move is a major part of Google’s expansion plans in the city that will let it more than double [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content