Netflix chief executive, Reed Hastings, predicts the death of traditional TV cable networks

Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings says that the death of traditional TV cable networks is not far off and predicted that all television will be online within 20 years.

Hastings said that the media landscape will be unrecognisable in the next decade as subscriber growth for cable TV networks declines while streaming services continue to grow. A recent study from Ericsson predicted that very soon more people will stream video online each day than will watch scheduled programs on traditional TV.

Netflix’s expansion from a mail-order DVD company into an online streaming leader that uses 37 per cent of North American bandwidth represents a massive change in the entertainment industry and Hastings claimed the next is just around the corner.

Subscriber growth for cable companies such as Time Warner Cable and Comcast declined in the first half of the year. Netflix on the other hand has enjoyed growing success in the US and is now expanding to Asia.

Speaking to CNBC Hastings said traditional TV will be forced to evolve or die and predicted that “ all the current linear networks will go to on-demand” including sports networks like ESPN which has seen its stock plummet as a result of weak growth.

Netflix will see its global subscription base hit 69.9 million by the end of the year according to the latest industry forecasts while cable TV networks have watched their stock fall as a result of customers turnigng to online viewing.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.