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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told the Canadian Digital Media Network 3.0 conference that the future of Internet TV will be filled with apps and constantly evolving. “We are now in 40 countries around the world, so people are starting to watch Internet video and you can start to see the outlines of what TV will be like in the future,” he said. “The simplest explanation is if you take your iPad and you stretch it out to be two metres and hang it on a wall that’s what it will look like. It will be beautiful, it will have all kinds of applications and it’s constantly getting better.”
Netflix’s job is to be one of your favourite apps, he said, providing updates with improvements every month. “For a lot of people, Internet video is a novelty. To television, Internet video is a novelty, so where it really helps as it mainstreams is to have a lot of competitors because everyone talks and then it helps build the market much faster and larger than it otherwise would be.”
“What we can look forward too … is then having the competitive response, so Rogers will launch a Netflix-like service. Vidéotron has launched a Netflix-like service, and it does a great job on the French-language offerings, and through all of these competitive offerings, we all learn and we all get better. There are more bidders for content, so the content owners are happy, and there are more choices for all of you.”
Hastings doesn’t believe traditional cable is going anywhere, just like the landline at home. “Networks that want a strong position in the future will be great application developers. And the applications will be unique to the content.” He cited, Major League’s Baseball’s online video offering, as an example. As well as games, it also has information about player statistics and biographies.