Netflix Weighs Entry Into News Industry (NASDAQ:NFLX)

In a video conference held after the company’s earnings call, some Netflix executives made cryptic comments that some interpreted to mean that the company is weighing entry into the news industry. Recent studies have shown that demand for news-related content is high. Speculation has swirled around what the entry of Netflix into the news industry would meant for established news providers.

In response to a question about whether the company was interested in pursuing news programming, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos reportedly said that the company was exploring that possibility. That statement was followed by a question from CEO Reed Hastings, saying, “What is the likelihood we compete directly with Vice in the next two years?” Sarandos responded, “Probably high.”

Discussions have begun on social media speculating what news programming from Netflix would comprise. Some believe that Netflix may be planning a news-magazine style show that contains pieces from reporters. Others think that its more likely for Netflix to develop a nightly news program, potentially modeled after The Daily Show.

After the conference call, some Netflix staff tried to dial back the comments, saying that the executives’ comments only suggested that the company wanted to expand its library of news documentaries and add news related shows, like the one planned for later this year starring Chelsea Handler. Another executive took to Twitter to say that the company isn’t considering getting into the news business per se and the company will leave the news “to the professionals.”

Netflix reported earnings results on Wednesday that revealed its profit and subscriber numbers came in well below analysts’ estimates for the quarter. The company reported profit of $29 million for the quarter, or 7 cents a share, and added 880,000 new subscribers. The company’s stock price suffered a decline of nearly 14 percent after the earnings announcement.

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