Netflix hasn’t killed off the traditional pay TV businesses just yet but it’s become very confident that it soon will. Quartz has done a nice job of noting all the changes that Netflix has made to its “Long Term View” manifesto about the future of television and it looks as though Netflix has stopped hedging a lot of the bets that it made more tentatively a year ago.
Last year, for instance, Netflix’s manifesto began by saying that “Over the coming decades and across the world, Internet TV will replace linear TV,” which it defines as the kind of television experience where you can only watch shows once a week at an allotted time. Now the manifesto simply reads, “Internet TV is replacing linear TV.”
Similarly, Netflix has completely deleted a sentence that reads, “Obviously, we have some limits to our spending flexibility and our true discretionary top-down process is only practical when the revenue is reasonably predictable.” The company is now also saying that its content “will” get better as its subscriber base grows, whereas before it said its content only “can” get better. And finally, Netflix has also deleted an entire section discussing the “longevity and defensibility” of its profit stream, as it’s now seemingly become self-evident that the company can consistently turn a profit on its business model.
Add it all up and you see that Netflix no longer thinks the future it envisioned just a year ago will happen over the span of years or decades — in fact, it’s happening right now. The company’s continued subscriber growth and strong earnings over the last year seem to have vindicated its vision and it is more confident than ever that it can kill off the pay TV business model that has ruled the world for the past three decades.