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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings loves when other companies pick fights with him

03 June 2017

CEO Reed Hastings has his eye on rival Amazon (AMZN), calling the eCommerce giant that offers its own streaming service "awfully scary".

"We had to carry the water when we were growing up and we were small", Hastings said, "and now other companies need to be on that leading edge", stating also that "where net neutrality is really important is the Netflix of 10 years ago".

"I'm always pushing the content team: 'We have to take more risk, you have to try more insane things".

He added: "You get some winners that are just unbelievable winners, like 13 Reasons Why".

Not surprisingly, Hastings refused to get specific about just how many people have watched 13 Reasons: The network famously doesn't release detailed viewership data.

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"There are so many great shows we don't have yet", he said. "We are trying to be Starbucks, and they are trying to be Walmart". According to J.P. Morgan estimates, Amazon's video content budget for 2017 is about $4.5 billion while Netflix is willing to spend $6 billion on content in 2017. But as for Netflix taking an active role in trying to keep the internet healthy and open, Hastings appears resigned to give in to the Trump FCC.

In 2013, Netflix defined itself as a destination for premiere original programming with the debut of two shows: House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.

"There's not a big conflict yet", Hastings said Wednesday at Recode's annual Code Conference. Netflix, which will always be a streaming platform over anything else, wants its original films to be available for streaming when they debut.

Netflix's blooming disinterest in the subject has been a more recent affair. "There are so many great shows we don't have yet", he stated. He also pointed out that the company has kept its base price at $7.99 for eight years, although he didn't say if it will increase prices in the future. "So we are continuing to watch them". He said that Netflix has no plans to stream sporting events, even as rivals like Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook sign streaming deals with major sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

Netflix's rapid rise from a mail order DVD rental service in 1997 to become the dominant global video streaming service has taken the world by storm and now they have almost 100 million people on their books. "If we try to out-Amazon Amazon, then that's a losing battle".