As Netflix smashed expectations, announcing Wednesday that it added just over 7 million subscribers in the last quarter of 2016, CEO Reed Hastings said he expects one rival might begin taking a cue from his company soon.
Noting in a letter to shareholders that the BBC is reportedly set to “go binge-first” with new seasons of certain shows, the Netflix exec said we can “presume HBO is not far behind.”
Although HBO has been in the premium TV game far longer, Netflix has been quickly catching up with buzzy shows like “Stranger Things,” “Orange Is the New Black” and a number of others, with their episodes released all at once.
“In short, it’s becoming an internet TV world,” Hastings wrote.
Does that mean the rumored “Game of Thrones” spinoff might land online all at once? Maybe not. Cable viewers are still an important part of HBO’s business, and in that format episodes are best released one by one, week by week. And it clearly serves Netflix’s interests for its CEO to proclaim a new age of internet-friendly entertainment.
But as Netflix inches closer to 100 million subscribers across the world, traditional networks are undoubtedly paying attention.