Since Netflix moved further away from a DVD rental service and became more of a streaming service, the company has always striven to be different and separate from cable. However, this week, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings revealed that he isn’t totally against the opportunity to potentially bundle up with cable packages down the line. He told the crowd at a media analyst interview that he would absolutely be okay with bundling up with the likes of Comcast and Time Warner, should the right deal arise. The only qualifier to getting the deal done? Netflix would obviously want to remain separately priced, like how HBO is.
Currently, Netflix is a fairly cheap deal, at least when compared to the likes of subscription streaming services like HBO. HBO’s recent streaming service, HBO Now, gives a month free to new subscribers and then subsequently charges them $14.99 a month. Netflix, on the other hand, charges $8.99 a month for a service that features plenty of older movies and TV shows and a slew of original programming like Daredevil and Sense8. The Wrap reports that there are no plans for those already-low numbers to change anytime soon, although some cities are starting to be taxed for the content.
There are a ton of options available to consumers regarding TV programming these days, from traditional cable, network and subscription cable packets to streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and even Sling TV. While more households are choosing to cut cable each year, the extremely popular Netflix is frequently still used in households alongside cable, rather than separately from cable. So a deal where households could bundle in Netflix with their regular cable and internet bill could theoretically be convenient for some users, especially as streaming TV becomes more and more the norm.
For now, Reed Hastings was only talking hypotheticals, which means we’ll still be shelling out for Netflix separately from other TV channels for quite some time. However, eventually that might not be the case, and in this dog eat dog world, at least it seems as if the streaming service is thoughtfully considering all of the possibilities for the future. Because what customers want more than anything else is ease. Price is often quoted as the biggest reason so many are cutting the cord, but for years, customer satisfaction in the cable industry has been among the lowest in the country. Comcast and Time Warner in particular are often cited as some of the least customer friendly companies in America. So, it would certainly behoove Netflix to be as easy to work with as possible.
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Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.