The emphasis on original content is an extension of Netflix's long-term view that the Internet is replacing television, that apps are replacing channels and that screens are proliferating, Mr. Hastings said.
"We've had 80 years of linear TV, and it's been amazing, and in its day the fax machine was amazing," he said. "The next 20 years will be this transformation from linear TV to Internet TV."
Netflix shares soared about 25 percent last week on news that it had added a record 4.9 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2015, bringing its total number of paid streaming subscribers to 59.6 million. The company beat expectations for growth and gave investors reason to believe that it still has much more room to grow.
"Think about the simplistic equation: More good content equals more viewing, more viewing means more subscribers, more subscribers means money to spend on more programming, which means more subscribers," said Rich Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG Research. "It is a virtuous cycle."
But some analysts have expressed concern about the company's long-term prospects for more growth in the United States, where it is profitable. Another big concern is the increase in costs from paying for content, especially if Netflix cannot sustain the same hit level as its early efforts.
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Global expansion, which is more costly and drags on profits, is also a concern. Netflix has said it would complete its international efforts in the next two years.
Netflix also faces a new wave of intense competition in the United States as a number of tech and media companies introduce streaming services. That includes HBO, which recently started HBO Now, which does not require a cable or satellite subscription.
Mr. Hastings said that he welcomed the new streaming entrants. Rather than a competitive threat, they represent the realization of the benefits of on-demand streaming television that allows people to watch shows on their own schedule and on the devices of their choosing, he said.
Mr. Hastings joked that people would know HBO is serious about streaming when it reverses the way it refers to its offerings and rebrands HBO Now as HBO. "They will take HBO linear and call it HBO Linear," he said. "That is HBO if you really want to watch it on somebody else's schedule."
He added that people are likely to subscribe to more than one service because services offer different programs and that the rivalry will not only increase creativity but also provide a stronger alternative to traditional television.