Sunday, September 15, 2013

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was wrong about financial crisis documentaries

Netflix makes a big deal about how carefully it picks movies and other content for its subscription streaming video service.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings likes to say his company into a “curator of select programming,” including its own original series and specials.
In a manifesto on the future of television, called “Netflix Long Term View,” Hastings wrote that the company would select a wide variety of content and he offered a very specific example.
“As we’ve gained experience, we’ve realized that the 20th documentary about the financial crisis will mostly just take away viewing from the other 19 such docs, and instead of trying to have everything, we should strive to have the best in each category,” Hastings wrote. “As such, we are actively curating our service rather than carrying as many titles as we can.”
But it turns out that Hastings was wrong. There’s always room for another documentary about the financial crisis of 2008.
On Monday, a feature-length documentary on the financial crisis focused on then U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson will begin streaming exclusively on Netflix. “Hank: Five Years From the Brink” was produced by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Related stories: 

To Recount the Financial Implosion, a Magazine Turns to Film. (New York Times; Sept. 8, 2013)

Editor’s Letter: Five Years From the Brink. (Bloomberg Businessweek; Sept. 12, 2013)

Image: Poster from “Hank: Five Years From the Brink.” 

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