Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, Discusses the Future of Media

Reed Hastings in a letter to Netflix and its investors:

Over the coming decades and across the world, Internet TV will replace linear TV.
Apps will replace channels, remote controls will disappear, and screens will proliferate.
As Internet TV grows from millions to billions, Netflix, HBO, and ESPN are leading the way.

For those of you who wrote Mr. Hastings off in the summer of 2011, I suggest you read this and re-evaluate your perspectives.

At the helm of a startup that's reshaped the way we consider modern media consumption, Hastings has repeatedly shown a well-tempered philosophy with regard to the future of the landscape.

Of course there've been sizable problems once or twice, but, at the end of the day, he's a fallible man. And in this 11-page document, we bear witness to a very thoughtful gentleman opining about the future of his industry.

Of particular note is Hastings' clear alignment with — and belief in — Netflix's future of platform agnosticism as a key to its growth. He cites the increasing proliferation of intelligent television devices as a primary reason for such thinking — a notion that makes a very large amount of sense, contrary to the genuine lack of such forethought in the industry.

Hastings is also fundamentally aware that Netflix's position of dominance and growth can only be sustained for so long. He writes of the impending large-scale disruption of television and explains his plot for Netflix to help nurture, encourage, and support such growth — even by offering supportive olive branches to pre-existing and well-entrenched cable companies.

It's a candid, thoughtful, and well-considered look into the near future and is an immediate source of excitement for me as a fan of innovation and media. (And Netflix, obviously.)

Along with Jeff Bezos, I find Reed Hastings to be one of the most affable and impressive executives around. Moreover, I'm hopeful the combination of performance with outward messages of optimism such as this will help solidify confidence and excitement in both Netflix and Hastings.

Most of all, though, we've found the holy grail of the media industry: a likable, forward-thinking executive with a vested and well-stated interest in nurturing the disruption of his industry.

The 11-page letter is available, in its entirety, on Scribd. Peter Kafka has also provided some interesting insight into the document at AllThingsD.