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Michael Sansolo’s column this morning about how Netflix CEO Reed Hastings sees the world differently was interesting … especially in view of the fact that the Hollywood Reporter has a piece entitled, “Netflix Under Pressure: Can a Hollywood Disruptor Avoid Getting Disrupted?”

To an extent, the story was prompted by the fact that just last month “the company reported its first subscriber loss in the U.S. in eight years.”

Here’s the challenge, as described in the story:

“Netflix's refusal to play by Hollywood's rules — dropping episodes all at once, not releasing ratings, overpaying up front for top creative talent in exchange for no backend profits — has been a source of external tension and envy. But the studios have gotten savvy to its ways and have started to fight back. With $71.3 billion in Fox assets now in its portfolio, Disney wields significant firepower in negotiations (it has also begun to eliminate many backend deals); and with the backing of AT&T, WarnerMedia doesn't have to think twice about shelling out $500 million to keep J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot in the family. With Apple in the mix, and Amazon and Hulu both upping their spending, in-demand creators have more options than ever.”

The problem for Netflix is that it now is in danger of being disrupted: “Mounting expenses and an insatiable need for hits — if these problems sound familiar, well, that's because for most media executives, they are. As it matures, Netflix looks less like a high-flying tech interloper and more like the entertainment company it's come to think of itself as.”

It is an excellent story, suggesting that it may not be enough to just be a disruptor that keeps people awake. There has to be a long game, too, that has to do with being continually innovative and keeping people engaged.

You can read it here.
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