Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Netflix CEO forecasts steady decline in DVD subscribers

Netflix will focus its energy on streaming video and unique content, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said this week. 

By Matthew Shaer / January 26, 2012

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said yesterday that he expects DVD subscribers to decline in coming years. Here, a user accesses Netflix using an Xbox console.



Call it the long goodbye.

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

On Wednesday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said his company expected the number of Netflix DVD subscribers to "decline steadily for every quarter, forever," as more users turn to streaming video. Hastings, who was speaking to reporters during a conference call, hastened to add that Netflix would keep the DVD portion of its business "stable," and "very high functioning," at least for the foreseeable future. 

In the meantime, according to All Things D, Netflix will bulk up its selection of streaming video, and continue to add new unique online content, such as the forthcoming series "House of Cards." In other words, as Peter Kafka of All Things D notes, Netflix will become "a premium cable channel that gives subscribers lots of viewing choices – including some stuff they can’t see anywhere else – but not unlimited choices." 

There's certainly room for that kind of service, Kafka adds: "a maverick Internet video service that could upend all of Hollywood and the TV industry sounds pretty exciting." Netflix, of course, weathered its share of woes last year, including a major dust-up over rate hikes and the rushed introduction of a rental service called Qwikster. Considering Hastings' pessimism toward discs, it's no wonder that Netflix tried to break off from DVD rentals and push that leaky boat out to sea. Of course, its current customers hated that plan, so Netflix later cancelled it.

But this week, the company posted some good news: During the last quarter of 2011, Netflix signed up 610,00 new US customers, almost making up for the 800,000 lost after the summer price hike – and bringing the total Netflix membership to 24.4 million. That was enough to beat analyst expectations, and give a nice bump to Netflix stock, Bloomberg News and the Washington Post report today. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut. And don’t forget to sign up for the weekly BizTech newsletter.


Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!