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Internet streaming will ‘replace linear TV’ within 20 years - Netflix

Monday, April 20th 2015 by Dean Reilly

Streaming and internet-based TV will replace traditional TV broadcasting within 20 years, according to the boss of Netflix.

Chief executive officer Reed Hastings said linear TV had been very successful but would become less and less important to future generations of viewers.

“Linear TV has been [on] an amazing 50 year run. Internet TV is starting to grow. Clearly, over the next 20 years, internet TV's going to replace linear TV,” he said.

Mr Hastings added that the growth in rival streaming TV services only serves to illustrate how viewing habits are changing.

He added: “We've continued to focus on the same things over the last couple years. Improving the content, improving the streaming, improving the user interface, and we've seen the rewards of that in continued growth.

"I think this quarter in particular, we had some amazing original content, with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, with House of Cards, with Bloodline. All of that compounded to really push us forward.

“Certainly what you're seeing is all of Internet TV growing, the attention of the new launches of the competitors is only creating a bigger ecosystem, drawing more and more people in to thinking, ‘hey I've got to check that out, and try this internet TV thing.’

“Because internet TV is the way that people will consume video in the future.”

'Wiped out'

However some industry experts believe that online TV will not replace traditional broadcast services.

Oliver Johnson, analyst at Point Topic, told Cable.co.uk: “Streaming serves a purpose, broadcast television serves a purpose, so it will reach an equilibrium but one will never be wiped out by the other.”

Cable.co.uk previously reported how, according to BBC chief technology officer Matthew Postgate, internet technologies could “open to the door” to new types of content.

He said: “We will increasingly use the internet to deliver programmes and services to you in the future – whether that’s to the big screen in the living room or the smartphones and tablets scattered over the house.”

Netflix recently announced the introduction of audio description for selected programming following the launch of its Marvel Comics adaptation, Daredevil.

The company also revealed record-breaking subscriber numbers, with over 60 million customers around the world signing up for Netflix.

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