On Monday when Netflix reports earnings, investors won't just be curious to see how many subscribers the company added and whether revenues beat or miss expectations.
This quarter they'll be watching to see how a new earnings call format turns out: Netflix is dumping the conference call and webcast model for a video Google hang-out. And instead of having the head of investor relations field questions from analysts, Netflix has invited BTIG's Rich Greenfield, a veteran analyst, and a journalist, me, to moderate questions e-mailed and tweeted to us.
Netflix has experimented with different earnings call models over the past few years. First it eliminated the prepared statements the CEO and CFO usually read, instead issuing a 'Letter to Shareholders' on its website along with the earnings release. In the past it's hosted an analyst Q&A, moderated by the company. Netflix has also had analysts e-mail in questions, which a Netflix facilitator then selected and read to CEO Reed Hastings. That version drew blowback from analysts, frustrated that Netflix was playing favorites and not selecting the tough questions.