On Netflix's fourth-quarter earnings call last night, Hastings was asked a question by JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth about users sharing passwords, after Rich Plepler, the CEO of HBO, which is a subsidiary of Time Warner (TWX), said he didn't care whether users shared their HBO GO passwords with friends.
"It presents the brand to more and more people and gives them an opportunity, hopefully, to become addicted to it," Plepler told BuzzFeed in a recent interview. "What we're in the business of is building addicts, building video addicts, and the way we do that is exposing our product and our shows and our brand to more and more people."
Hastings said it was an "interesting comment," and that Plepler wouldn't mind Hastings sharing his username and password. Jokingly, Hastings said Plepler's username was firstname.lastname@example.org and his password was netflixbitch.
Start at 14:25 in the video below for the off-color comment from Hastings:
When the streaming video service talked about competition in its shareholder letter, HBO wasn't mentioned. "Our domestic growth is very strong, much of which should be attributed to the tailwind of Internet video growth in general," Hastings wrote in the letter. "Hulu had 3 CEOs in 2013, and yet grew paid subscribers an impressive 65%. We think YouTube, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes video and BBC iPlayer are also growing fast."
No HBO in that statement. It's pretty clear as to where Netflix is aiming, from leaving a mention of HBO out of the shareholder letter and Hastings comment, despite it being made in jest.
Your move, HBO.
-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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