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Netflix CEO Talks Buffering, Piracy, AI Threat

Posted by: , 17:23 AEDT, Fri March 3, 2017

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Reed Hastings talks candidly at the Mobile World Congress
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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has declared a mission to end the suffering of buffering, as he touts the company's hard work to make it a thing of the past.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress where Hastings was a keynote speaker, and just days after the company won its first Oscar for the documentary 'The White Helmets', Netflix's CEO took the time to cover a wide range of subject matters in an effort to outline the company's current and future strategy.

At the top of Netflix's hit list is buffering. Hastings believes that buffering no longer has a place in today's modern Internet world, and the company is investing in servers, video encoding technology and content delivery mechanisms in order to make buffering "a relic like that dial tone".

With AT&T recently throttling some of their unlimited plans to only 3 Mbps and other clamping down on excessive data usage, Hastings says they're on top of this development too, with the company already able to deliver good quality video at 0.5 Mbps, and working on getting it down to as low as 0.2 Mbps.

On the piracy front, Hastings confirmed the company's strategy of enticing pirates to start paying for content by offering something that's seen as good value for those that have been relying on illegal downloads.

"We're focusing on the carrot of offering a great service," he said.

And finally, on the issue of Artificial Intelligence, Hastings offered a curious if slightly disturbing take on the issue.

"I'm not sure if (in the future) we're going to be entertaining you or entertaining AI," he quipped, signalling that Netflix will continue to serve entertainment content even in the event of an AI takeover of the world.

[via CNET]


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