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Netflix: “Linear TV will end in five to ten years”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wants traditional TV to die. And it can’t happen soon enough

Reed Hastings, CEO of streaming giant Netflix has been hoping for the TV to become obsolete for over 8 years now and in yesterday’s investor call, he confidently reinstated his belief by saying that Netflix was in a great spot because linear TV would die in “5 to 10 years.”

“We’re executing on the content side, obviously. Ozark… Stranger Things… Lots of titles. Lots of viewing. We’re improving everything we do around marketing. Improving the service and the merchandising and all of that slowly pays off,” he explained.

“Looking forward, streaming is working everywhere. Everyone is pouring in. It’s definitely the end of linear TV over the next five, ten years.”

As it stands, Netflix needs linear TV to die because it needs the streaming households that are still watching TV traditionally to keep its number on the up.

According to that freshly released Netflix’s 2022 Q2 earnings report, the streaming platform has shed 1.3 million subscribers across the US and Canada in the past 3 months as post pandemic stuck-at-homes head out into the world once more.

Having more than 220 million premium customers globally, Netflix is now hoping to find as many subscribers again with its forthcoming ad-supported tier which isn’t going to include all the content you get now with a TBC advertising element woven in.

Time to get tough

And – after years of strange (but welcome) leniency – Netflix is also aiming to end the practice of account sharing, where a single password can service multiple househoulds. This will force sharers to either subscribe or give up the shows they love.

It’s a tricky predicament for Netflix to be in. After capitalising on the confused and fragmented way in which the US cable networks packaged their shows (bundling TV shows with sports and charging a premium for the ‘package’) Netflix ‘all you can eat’ approach was a winner.

Ultimately, though broadcast TV is still free (unlike Netflix) and anyone with a good and stable antenna can enjoy great TV… Depending on what’s being broadcast at the time…

Broadcast TV is also to get a major update in form of ATSC 3.0. And although the rollout has been glacial, the new standard promises all sorts of quality improvements that streaming charges you for before you can have access to them. 

ATSC 3.0 will support 4K, 120 frames per second, and will have a wide colour gamut and HDR. The streaming platform currently charges $19.99 a month for that. 

So, five years? Ten years? Longer? Place your bets.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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