When Netflix got its start more than a decade ago, it built its business on shipping DVDs through the mail and its primary rival was Blockbuster Video. Last year, Netflix declared in it's "long term view" statement, written up for investors, that its main competition was video-streaming service Hulu, and later HBO. On Monday, Netflix publicly changed its perspective once again: now its rivals include not just traditional TV networks (which Netflix refers to as "linear TV") and other streaming services, but nearly anything that requires your attention.
"Over the coming decades and across the world, internet TV will replace linear TV," the company's updated long term view statement reads. "Apps will replace channels, remote
"We are a movie and TV series network." controls will disappear, and screens will proliferate." As competition ramps up, the company says it plans to remain competitive by sticking to its core business of commercial-free, unlimited-viewing subscription TV — so don't expect ads on Netflix any time soon.
"We don't and can't compete on breadth with Comcast, Sky, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, or Google," Netflix says, giving a nod to companies each rumored to be working on their own streaming TV services. "We are not a generic 'video' company that streams all types of video such as news, user-generated, sports, music video, or reality," the company explains, seemingly speaking of YouTube and general video hosting websites. "We are a movie and TV series network," the statement reads. "We are about fantastic content that is only available on Netfilx."
"We are about fantastic content that is only available on Netflix."
Essentially, Netflix sees itself as something like a new-school HBO — an idea it has thrown out before. As such, the company says it views its competition as more than any one TV network, or tech giant. "We compete very broadly for a share of members' time and spending, against linear networks, DVDs, other internet networks, video games, web browsing, magazine reading, video piracy, and much more," the statement reads. Still, Netflix says it has two rivals in particular that it's keeping an eye on: Amazon and HBO, two companies who are similarly big spenders when it comes to licensing deals with film studios and creating original programming.