A service like Netflix helps against piracy, according to Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings. According to Hastings his video streaming service contributes to lower piracy rates because it offers a cheap alternative to illegal downloading. He made his statement during an interview after his keynote at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) currently held in Barcelona.
He specifically referred to the Netherlands were Netflix recently introduced its service, “the Netherlands was one of the major hotspots for piracy, but now consumers are more and more turning to legal, inexpensive means of getting content.”
Hastings however did not state anything about global content licenses. A lot of piracy still exists because content is not available globally but limited to specific countries, due to so-called geoblocks. Previously users tried to circumvent those geoblocks using VPN services, but Netflix has been very succesful in blocking those lately. On global licensing deals Hastings stated nothing more than that, “Netflix want to give local producers a global audience.”
In the interview Hastings also stated that Netflix works on improving the video quality on relative slow connections, so the service should be better suitable for mobile usage.
“Now, what we’ve done is invest in codecs so that at half a megabit per second, you get incredible picture quality. We’re now at about 300 kilobits per second, and we’re hoping some day to get down to 200 kilobits. So we’re being more and more efficient with operators networks,” Hasting said.
He added that Netflix isn’t specially producing videos for mobile usage but tries to make watching videos on smartphones as enjoyable as possible. The company is e.g. working with LG to integrate HDR into phones for a fuller color spectrum.
Hastings also stated that Netflix will continue to adapt to new technologies which could be viewing content on contact lenses “with amazing capabilities” but also Virtual Reality.