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Netflix doesn't believe its unblocker crackdown will cause users to leave

Its CEO says “there’s probably so few of them” who will turn to piracy because of its decision to crackdown on VPNs.

Making a Murderer, which details the case involving Steven Avery (pictured) has been a huge hit for Netflix, but its plans to tackle VPNs hasn't gone down well.
Making a Murderer, which details the case involving Steven Avery (pictured) has been a huge hit for Netflix, but its plans to tackle VPNs hasn't gone down well.
Image: Morry Gas/AP Photo

NETFLIX’S CEO DOESN’T believe its intention to crackdown on proxies and unblockers, will have much of an impact on worldwide growth.

The company announced its latest earnings call last night where it now has 75 million subscribers worldwide, but while some international users were angry with Netflix’s intention to keep users to their own territory – many access the US site since the range of content is greater than their home offering – CEO Reed Hastings doesn’t believe it will cause people to leave.

“I don’t think we’ll see any impact,” he said during the earnings call. “We’ve always enforced proxies blocking with a blacklist, now we’ve got an expanded and enhanced blacklists. I don’t think we’re going to see any huge change”.

When asked about whether there was a point in doing this if there wasn’t any impact, Hastings said there was still a purpose behind it.

“You can call it placating, you can call it catering to their desires which they have legitimate desires,” he said. “W e’re trying to pay for it all by shifting to global licenses. We’re working with content providers on that”.

It’s perfectly reasonable what content owners want and we’ll know there will be some people affected that are using it today which is why we’re being so open about it but it’s really a continuation of what we’ve always done with this enhanced blacklist.

He also ruled out the possibility that clamping down on VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) would push some people back to piracy so they can see certain shows saying ”if we see that, there’s probably so few of them it’s not a big contributor to overall global piracy”.

Its head of content Ted Sarandos chimed in saying “geofilter hacking and piracy are maybe distant cousins at best. I think of geofilter hacking is people hacking to pay while piracy is hacking to not pay”.

Source: Netflix US & Canada/YouTube

Pushing ahead with expansion

Netflix announced it has 75 million subscribers on its service at its earnings call last night. It added 17 million new users for the year – 5.59 million during the last quarter – and expects to grow by six million in the first quarter of 2016.

Over 2015, its subscribers have streamed 42.5 billion hours, a jump from 29 billion hours in 2014.

As for earnings, the company saw its revenue increase to $1.82 billion (€1.67 billion) in the fourth quarter but profits fell to $43.2 million (€39 million), compared to $83.4 million (€76.4 million) a year ago. Part of that was down to investment in original content as well as its expansion and l

This will be helped by its expansion across the world at the start of January, where it’s now available in every country except China where it says it has ”work and uncertainty ahead” in launching it there.

Read: Too many tabs open? Here’s how you can snooze them for later

Read: This Irish startup has just been bought by Spotify >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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