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Netflix: “We’re planning on taking spending up quite a bit”

CEO Reed Hastings responds to variable playback backlash

Netflix plans to increase its content spending, CEO Reed Hastings has announced.

Speaking at the New York Times DealBook conference, Hastings commented on the company’s $15 billion a year content spend, saying: “We’re planning on taking spending up quite a bit.”

Responding to the wave of new players in the streaming market, Hastings suggested that time spent using a service, not subscription numbers, will be the more significant indicator of success: “How do consumers vote with their evenings?”

He then commented on the recent backlash to the streamer’s variable playback speed feature, reiterating: “In the speed up, which was only 1.5x, it’s an experiment, we’re always doing experiments to try to see, ‘Do consumers even care about that?’

“Our job is to have both creators and consumers feel excited about Netflix,” he said. “Both are important audiences. Sometimes we do things like ‘Play Next Episode’ over the credits. Or, a long time ago, it was watching a movie on a mobile phone – that was seen as a terrible thing. ‘How can you let my art be seen on a mobile phone?'”

Hastings also pointed out that Netflix introduced the ‘Skip Intro’ button because users called for it.