Netflix (s NFLX) will stream “well over a billion hours” of video this quarter, the company’s CEO Reed Hastings revealed during the UBS Global Media conference Tuesday. Hastings admitted the company had some trouble holding on to its subscribers in recent months, but he said streaming usage has nonetheless been growing. “Streaming has been a rocket ship,” said Hastings.
Asked about his competitors, Hastings dismissed possible threats from Hulu Plus, Amazon (s AMZN) Prime and some of the new offerings that are rumored to launch soon, like the Verizon (s vz) streaming service that made headlines today. Instead, he admitted: “The competitor we fear the most is HBO Go.” (s twx)
Hastings said only HBO and Netflix have the stomach to spend one to two billion dollars a year on content, adding: “They are becoming more Netflix-like and we are becoming more HBO-like.”
He also called HBO Go “really quite impressive” and said he fully expects the pay TV network to eventually rebrand its online service to be simply called HBO, making it the core of its offering. “When you use it on a Roku, it’s so much better than the MVPD system,” he said in reference to HBO’s linear and traditional VOD offerings through cable set-top boxes.