Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is used to getting questions about competitors.
For a long time, people from the press and Wall Street would ask him about HBO, and Hastings would argue that Netflix wasn't really competing with HBO, because people who get HBO also get Netflix.
Now he gets the same questions about Amazon, since Amazon has started spending aggressively on streaming video content, just like Netflix does. And Hastings has the same answer, really: There's room for everybody!
But today, on Netflix's Q1 earnings call, Hastings got a little more expansive, in a bong-rip-in-a-dorm-room way, if that's still a thing. (Is that still a thing?). Here's the answer he gave to an Amazon competition question; we join this one mid-response, right after he finished praising Amazon and Jeff Bezos:
They're doing great programming, and they'll continue to do that, but I'm not sure it will affect us very much. Because the market is just so vast. You know, think about it, when you watch a show from Netflix and you get addicted to it, you stay up late at night. You really —we're competing with sleep, on the margin. And so, it's a very large pool of time. And a way to see that numerically is that we're a competitor to HBO, and yet over 10 years we've grown to 50 million, and they've continued modestly growing. They haven't shrunk. And so if you think about it as, we're not really affecting them, the [question] is why - and that's because we're like two drops of water in the ocean, of both time and spending for people. And so Amazon could do great work, and it would be very hard for it to directly affect us. It's just — home entertainment is not a zero-sum game. And again, HBO's success, despite our tremendous success, is a good way to illustrate that.
Some quick thoughts:
—By Peter Kafka, Re/code.net.
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