Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed that his popular subscription streaming service will not be part of Apple’s big OTT launch.
“We want to have people watch our content on our service,” Hastings said at a Monday evening press event in Los Angeles. “We’ve chosen not to integrate into their service.”
Apple has scheduled a March 25 event, promoted with the longline “showtime,” to unveil the details of its new video service, for which little is publicly known at this point.
It is, however, believed that Apple will broker OTT services to run on its platform, collecting a piece of the action, similar-- or at least vaguely similar?--to how Amazon Channels is structured.
That Netflix is not involved probably isn’t that surprising, given Netflix’s retreat from Apple’s video ecosystems recently. In January, for example, Netflix announced that new customers can no longer sign up for a subscription through Apple’s iTunes store.
Apple, meanwhile, launched a TV app in 2016, attempting to organize the programming choices of iPhone and iPad users. Netflix has stayed uninvolved with the initiative.
For his part, Hastings spoke on a broad number of topics Monday evening—also well covered by Fast Company. Notably, Hastings discussed the increased competition in the over-the-top sphere, not only wrought by Apple’s new launch, but now streaming platforms from Disney, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal.
“There are a lot of new competitors. It’s very exciting. Amazon is spending $4 to $5 billion on content,” Hastings said. “We spend about twice that. Disney, WarnerMedia, and others [are debuting this year], but the reality is they’ve been in the business for a long time, and we compete with all kinds of entertainment time already. Sometimes we think of YouTube as a great partner because we advertise there and our content is there. But sometimes we think of them as a competitor. That’s how it is with everyone.”
Hastings also addressed sharing content with media conglomerates that are more guarded about doing business with the SVOD giant these days.
“‘Friends’ is an amazing, iconic, and unusual title. It never really was that exclusive,” Hastings said. “It’s been on linear TV. It’s more like a special case. Generally the model we’ll follow is shows that we can produce and that are known as Netflix content and [are] exclusive.”