NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The smoke and mirrors Reed Hastings projects from his perch at Netflix (NFLX) have far-reaching consequences. The CEO himself probably cannot get his head around the power of his own rhetoric.
Here's a guy who roped investors into bidding his stock past $300 pre-very-predictable implosion. And now, he's doing it again with NFLX -- a company in no better (and maybe worse) shape than it was in 2011/2012 -- up nearly 100% year-to-date.
But others aren't so hip. Hastings' hollow claims of cord cutting and binge viewing have led everybody from Henry Blodget to the average consumer to forget that Netflix exists because old guard media outlets -- the entities that own and control premium content -- allow it to exist. Netflix has no leverage, no competitive advantage, no reason to breathe another breath barring some profound transformation of the media landscape.But, now it's getting worse. Hastings' bombast has reportedly tricked Spotify into thinking it can pull off original programming. According to Nicholas Carlson over at Business Insider, on-demand music service Spotify will compete with Netflix via streaming video driven primarily, if not solely, by original content. Hastings set the false precedent and Daniel Ek at Spotify apparently took the bait. This will not end well. It's one thing when powerhouses such as Google (GOOG) and Amazon.com (AMZN) get into this mess. They have the cash and thriving core revenue lines to subsidize long-shot expeditions against companies that actually know how to do original programming such as Time Warner (TWX). They're healthy companies, well positioned and hyper-focused. Netflix is not a healthy company. Need a verbal specimen? Just click any of the links in paragraphs two through four, which will lead you to links for even more stories that lay out why Netflix is in such bad shape, despite Hastings' endless hype. And Spotify isn't much better off. In fact, it might be worse off. And now, if BI's report has merit, Spotify is about to lose focus. Original content is expensive. It's most likely -- for companies in the early stages of producing it -- a money loser. Spotify already participates in one unprofitable business utilizing a Netflix-like business model.
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