No rules Rules tackles Netflix’s central dilemma: how to forge a culture that continually pursues innovation without falling into chaos. Tons of new streaming challengers (including Disney +, HBO Max, Peacock, Apple TV +) have launched in the past year, but right now Hastings says it sees its biggest “threat-cutting opportunity” in things. such as video games, online sports, YouTube and TikTok.
“The quality of creativity on YouTube goes higher and higher so that it ultimately satisfies [viewers’] needs? “he asks rhetorically.” We are overtaken by a combination of user-generated products [content]? “Yep, teens and preteens are less focused on TV and movies than the previous generation.” They tend to see it as a big yawn, they just don’t have the attention span, “Hastings tells me. But instead of trying to imitate TikTok or wean them. viewers from the platform, Netflix wants to have such electric and lively programming that children need to look. Otherwise, he says, “The danger is that Netflix will one day become like opera, a kind of top-notch niche.”
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief of content and co-CEO, suggests it’s about understanding how different generations want to consume stories, even if it’s baffling to older executives like, say, an unboxing video or a SoundCloud rapper. When Netflix first dived into original children’s programming, it released series with regular episodes and season lengths, as if they were part of an old school Saturday morning children’s television lineup. But Generation Z has no popular memories of Saturday morning cartoons, and Netflix quickly switched to a more flexible mode.
Hastings and Sarandos are Netflix’s double act: one a Silicon Valley-based tech whiz, the other a video store employee turned tastemaker who has long been the company’s public face when it comes to Hollywood. Hastings recently recognized Sarandos’ contributions by making him co-CEO of Netflix. “I don’t think co-CEO is the right strategy for every company … But I’m already far behind in the spotlight,” says Hastings with a chuckle. This is partly due to his bashful and easygoing style (he takes pride in leaving as many decisions as possible to his team) and partly because Sarandos has so skillfully conquered the entertainment industry.
Rising competition in streaming drives up the price of high-end talent, as Apple, HBO, Hulu, and Amazon often throw money at the same prestigious creators. (Hastings mentioned twice in our conversation that despite rolling out the red carpet for The Irish on Netflix, Martin Scorsese went elsewhere for his next film: “We do it Irish with Marty and then his next thing is with Apple. “) Netflix caused a sensation a few years ago when it blocked gigantic overall deals with superstar producers like Ryan Murphy, Kenya Barris, is Shonda Rhimes.