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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: Sleep Is Our Competition

Netflix has become synonymous with binge-watching—the act of roaring through a full season of Stranger Things with Seamless as your copilot. The advent of this routine has undoubtedly changed our consumption habits, with 70% of Americans (and 90% of millennials) indulging in an average of five episodes per sitting, according to a Deloitte survey. “Binge-watching is great because it puts you in control,” said Neftlix CEO and cofounder Reed Hastings at Summit LA on Friday. “You have complete flexibility.” In fact, Netflix now goes beyond”binge-watching” and induced something called “binge-racing,” in which fans complete a new series on the very same day it’s released. The number of viewers pulling off that ambitious feat actually increased more than 20 times in the last three years–to 8.4 million Netflix members. The company even referred to it as a “sport” in a recent press release. And it’s not just the United States. Hastings shared that binge-watching has been widely adopted overseas, which now accounts for 50% of customers. (Only five years ago, the States accounted for 100% of its audience.) “The incredible thing is just how broad the love of binge-viewing really is,” said Reed. In Brazil, for example, in which TV viewing is mostly linear with no real DVR market, DVDs are still in high demand (and in their own way, a type of binge-viewing). “But once people could do it over the internet … it’s been massively popular.” As binge-viewing gains greater momentum abroad, most notably in Europe, says Hastings, the streaming video giant is reconsidering the competitive landscape. He referred to the “winning moment of truth,” the consumer product term for what you finally choose when presented with options. In general, this term referred to choosing two equal competitors within the same category, like two comparable shampoos in the supermarket aisle.

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: Sleep Is Our Competition

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