We’re hearing some rumblings and grumblings that Apple might start producing original content to go along with an updated version of its Apple TV streaming box, and do you know who isn’t worried about it? Netflix.
Reed Hastings, CEO of the giant streaming service, spoke to CNN to discuss his company’s new availability in Japan and its future plans to expand into all of Asia, and he could not have sounded less concerned when the interviewer asked about the rumors of the Cupertino company getting into content creation.
“You know, we’ve got so many great original shows out,” said Hastings. “And other people are doing shows, too; HBO’s doing shows, FX are doing shows, BBC. … So the fact that additional tech companies may be doing shows, that’s really not that big a deal in the total number of shows being produced around the world. Our focus is great shows, and we’re executing on that.”
Hastings can afford to be cavalier here because his company’s original programming is a big hit with viewers and critics alike. Its political drama House of Cards, which stars Kevin Spacey as a Machiavellian politician clawing his way to the U.S. Presidency, has scored two Golden Globes and a Primetime Emmy. Comic-book fans also got excited about its version of superhero Daredevil, which is returning for a second season and will introduce additional characters like The Punisher.
What ultimately matters for Netflix is how good Apple’s programming is (if it even ends up happening) and whether it draws audiences away from its own offerings. But even that is unlikely, considering that the whole point of on-demand entertainment is that viewers can watch whatever they want, whenever they want to. This area has no time slots to fight over, or even advertising dollars, since they typically draw revenue through the licensing deals they make with studios and networks. Except for Hulu, of course, which shows you ads even if you’re paying for the service.
What’s up with that, anyway, Hulu?