In a second-quarter earnings letter to investors distributed Monday, Hastings reiterated that the company's most serious competition is likely to come from an MVPD that begins to offer its subscribers more access to over-the-top video, negating the need for services like Netflix.
"HBO GO is an example of this: HBO subscribers can watch HBO on-demand through their MVPD provider web interface (DishOnline.com, say), or through the HBO GO dedicated application," he wrote. "Over time, both the DishOnline application and the HBO GO application, amongst others, will likely get built into smart TVs or be available in smart TV app stores."
And, though the two don't currently offer the same content, because HBO won't sell it to Netflix, Netflix does compete with HBO for studio content and for viewers' time. "Our task is to consistently improve the quality of our service and stay two steps ahead, so that consumers will continue to enjoy Netflix," he wrote.
Hastings acknowledged Hulu Plus, noting that the service had added 325,000 subs in the second quarter, but he pointed out Netflix had added close to 2 million. With Hulu's future in doubt (the service is up for sale, but Netflix is not in the running to buy it) Hastings said it's uncertain how aggressive new owners might be in terms of content acquisition.
And, although Amazon Prime recently has added 2,000 titles to its watch instantly service, "We haven't detected an impact on our business," Hastings wrote.
- see this earnings release
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