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Dublin: 9°C Thursday 17 June 2021

Annoyed you can't watch the US version of Netflix? Its CEO doesn't really care

Such complaints are “inconsequential” and come from a “very small but quite vocal minority”.

Image: AP Photo/Dan Goodman

NETFLIX HAS MADE good on its promise to crack down on people using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to access shows from other countries.

With the service in almost every country in the world, some people weren’t happy with the decision, but Netflix is pushing forward and feels that such complaints have no real merit.

When asked about if Netflix had changed its VPN strategy since it announced it at the start of the year, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the complaints were of no concern and hadn’t impacted on its business plan.

It’s a very small but quite vocal minority so it’s really inconsequential to us.

Instead of trying to appease this group, it’s more concerned about the many things it’s competing against for viewers’ time. Not only would that include rival services like Amazon and YouTube, but anything else that people would do in their free time.

“If you think about your last 30 days, and analyse the evenings you did not watch Netflix, you can understand how broad our competition really is,” the company said in a letter to shareholders. “Whether you played video games, surfed the web, watched a DVD, TVOD, or linear TV, wandered through YouTube, read a book, streamed Hulu or Amazon, or pirated content (hopefully not), you can see the market for relaxation time and disposable income is huge”.

We are but a little boat in a vast sea… we earn a tiny fraction of consumers’ time and money, and have lots of opportunity ahead to win more of your evenings away from those other activities if we keep improving.

GOP 2016 Debate Original shows like House of Cards helped Netflix grow its subscriber base, but it could be facing some tough times ahead. Source: AP Photo/John Bazemore

Growing pains

Growing that userbase could be a challenge as the company said it only expects to see 2.5 million people join the service over the next three months. Despite better-than-expected earnings, its outlook for subscriber growth meant its share price fell as a result.

Part of that slow growth is down to it starting off un-grandfathering, a process which allowed early members to continue paying the original price instead of the increased version for a certain period.

Some users in Ireland will be facing a €2 per month price increase from May onwards. Those who originally signed up for the service when it first arrived will see the monthly price increase from €7.99 to €9.99.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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