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Netflix’s premium positioning may not fetch it the VOD crown in India, but it will still end up a winner

Dawid Bilski

There was a pleasant nip in the air at the picturesque Laguna Beach, serving as the perfect backdrop for an open-air dinner on the lawns of the Montage resort, the venue for The Wall Street Journal’s marquee annual tech event WSJD Live. Even as the guests were sampling the lavish spread, Reed Hastings walked up the dais for a chat with a WSJ host. It was just days after Netflix had announced its third quarter earnings and the numbers were good enough to keep the 56-year-old founder of the paid video streaming juggernaut in good humour. Belying investor expectations, Netflix had announced the addition of 0.4 million members in the US and 3.2 million internationally. “We [will] collect about 8 billion dollars of customers’ money and so thank you all [gesturing at the audience] for giving me your money. This money is in a trust to create joy…if a show costs 100 million dollars, how much joy, how much viewing it creates among the audience. If you are happy and tell your friends, we have more money next year to turn into more joy. We think of ourselves as [an] alchemist, we take in money and out comes joy,” said Hastings, even as he urged the audience to watch Netflix’s new show The Crown.