×

Netflix’s Cindy Holland Says Subscribers Watch an Average of Two Hours a Day

Cindy Holland, vice president for original content at Netflix, kicked off the INTV Conference in Jerusalem on Monday where she was playfully quizzed by Keshet CEO Avi Nir about ratings, statistics and strategy. Although Holland kept her cards close to her chest, she revealed that the average Netflix subscriber spends two hours a day on the streaming service.

Holland also said that most people around the world mainly watch Netflix on TV and multiple devices rather than on mobile devices only. In emerging markets, more people watch Netflix on mobile devices, but that’s not the dominant mode of viewing for Netflix globally.

When asked to identify Netflix’s potential rivals and reflect on the position of Apple, Disney and Amazon, Holland said there were opportunities for success for big entertainment companies as well as new players, but the real “challenge [for] a new entrant is to grow in the future.”

She said that unlike Google and Facebook, Netflix’s first priority is to entertain. “We’re very different from the large tech companies like Google and Facebook,” Holland said. “We have a different business model [and we’re] much closer to cable TV.”

Holland also reiterated Netflix’s ambition to ramp up its international output. Netflix is established in 190 countries and makes more than 80% of its acquisitions outside of the U.S.

She cited “Narcos” as one of the first shows Netflix made a deal for and said the series’ global success proved that non-English-language series could strike a chord with viewers everywhere. “If a series resonates really well in its home market. it will resonate everywhere,” said Holland, who cited the upcoming adaptation of Gabriel García Márquez’s seminal novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” as an exciting project in Netflix’s non-English-language series pipeline.

One of the things she’s most proud of is “Orange Is the New Black,” which was a “real gamble, and it turned out pretty well,” Holland said. “It wasn’t designed to work around the world, but it absolutely did….Everyone expected ‘House of Cards’ to be good, but ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ no one saw it coming.”

Holland said a key strategic shift she spearheaded was Netflix’s move into the young adult space, which was initiated four-and-a-half years ago.

She said TV for teenagers was identified by Netflix as “the white space in the middle” that networks had not invested in because of the size of budgets needed to deliver shows with high production values. Tapping into that young adult demographic, Netflix came up with “13 Reasons Why” and “Stranger Things.” In the latter, Netflix chose to focus on the group of young characters in the series rather than on the police to convey a sense of wonder and family. Those two shows proved that “you can talk to young adults and be successful,” Holland said.

The session with Nir showcased a clip from “Kingdom,” Netflix’s second South Korean original series.

INTV is taking place March 11-12 in Jerusalem.

More TV

  • Democratic presidential candidate Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth

    The Messy NBC Democratic Debate Proves the Need for a Tier System (Column)

    The opening night of the first debates of the 2020 Democratic Party primaries brought — even by the standards of such way-far-out confrontations between candidates for whom the election remains a far-off dream — vastly more empty drama than new information. But then, that may have been by design. NBC News’s organization of the debates, [...]

  • Max Wright Dead

    'Alf' Actor Max Wright Dies at 75

    Max Wright, best known for playing patriarch Willie Tanner on the sitcom “Alf,” died Wednesday. He was 75. Wright’s family confirmed his death to TMZ. The actor died in his home in Hermosa Beach, Calif., after years of battling cancer. Wright was diagnosed with Lymphona in 1995. Wright is most famous for his role as [...]

  • Greyson Chance -Gabby Barrett Alejandro Aranda

    Greyson Chance, 'Idol' Alums Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda Sign Major Label Deals

    Two “American Idol” alumni — Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda — as well as viral star Greyson Chance all announced new major label recording contracts this week. Barrett, who finished in third place of the first season of the rebooted ABC version of “Idol,” has joined the roster of Warner Music Nashville. The singer had [...]

  • amazon-studios

    YouTube Head of Scripted Jon Wax in Talks to Join Amazon Studios

    YouTube’s head of scripted programming, Jon Wax, is in talks to join Amazon Studios, according to an individual with knowledge of the matter. Wax is said to be in discussions for head of genre programming at Amazon, a position held by Sharon Tal Yguado until recently. Variety reported on her exit in early May. The [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA Takes Aim at Endeavor IPO, Tells Members It Has 'Sufficient Funds' for Legal Battle

    The Writers Guild of America has gone to the Securities and Exchange Commission in its battle with Hollywood’s largest talent agencies over the issue of packaging fees and affiliated production. The guild sent a letter to William Hinman, director of the SEC’s corporate finance division, the guild accuses WME parent company Endeavor of misrepresenting the [...]

  • ARE YOU THE ONE SEASON 8

    MTV's 'Are You The One?' Shifts to Sexually Fluid Contestants for New Season

    MTV’s dating reality show “Are You The One?” is addressing changing attitudes regarding sexuality and gender identity by featuring sexually fluid contestants on the show’s eighth season, which bows June 27. The shift from the show’s past focus on heterosexual relationships is part of the larger effort at MTV to be relevant to younger viewers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content