The streaming strategy puzzle

Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos, in 2013:

“The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.”

And Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in 2017:

We’re not trying to meet all needs. So, Amazon’s business strategy is super broad. Meet all needs. I mean, the stuff that will be in Prime in five or ten years will be amazing, right? And so we can’t try to be that — we’ll never be as good as them at what they’re trying to be. What we can be is the emotional connection brand, like HBO or Netflix. So, think of it as they’re trying to be Walmart, we’re trying to be Starbucks. So, super focused on one thing that people are very passionate about.

But here’s Sarandos in 2018:

“There’s no such thing as a Netlflix show… Our brand is personalization.”

Meanwhile, at HBO:

During a closed-door June 19 conversation with some 150 HBO staff, “Stankey never uttered the word ‘Netflix,’ but he did suggest that HBO would have to become more like a streaming giant to thrive in the new media landscape,”

What is going on? Does Netflix want to be HBO or does it want to be Amazon? Someone should at least have the decency to tell HBO the answer, because it matters a lot for how closely the channel should be copying Netflix.

(No links because I’m on my phone.)

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