Netflix boss Reed Hastings: 'We will adapt to virtual reality if it takes off'

Netflix co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings says the company is ready to adapt for virtual reality as part of its "learn and adapt" strategy.

'House of Cards' was the trailblazing Netflix Original series
'House of Cards' was the trailblazing Netflix Original series

Hastings says that while the future of technology is "very hard to predict" he believes his company, which began as a DVD mailing business, is always willing to embrace new technologies.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 presenter Francine Stock at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, Hastings said: "What we do is try and learn and adapt rather than commit to one particular view of what will happen.

"If virtual reality takes off we will adapt to that or if it is contact lenses that have amazing powers we will adapt to that."

Hastings added Netflix is growing strongly around the world and predicts mobile will become "more and more significant".

He said the company has seen "great mobile usage throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia" and highlighted a Netflix partnership with LG that will integrate high dynamic range (HDR) into phones.

Hastings predicts that in ten or 20 years all the video consumers view will be on the internet, but downplayed more and more companies impinging on its territory, such as Google with YouTube Red and Amazon through Prime.

He said: "Now internet TV is clearly the way things are moving we are having competition come in from all sides, they are not trying to kill us, they are trying to serve consumers."

During the light-hearted interview Hastings also denied the company had anything to do with the coining of the term "Netflix and chill" and poked fun at the internet connectivity at Mobile World Congress.

In another aside, he told an anecdote of the reaction of the writer of Netflix hit The Crown when he told him he had watched it on his mobile.

"I watched The Crown on mobile and it is incredible and you can see these great panoramas but when I told the writer Peter Morgan that he was aghast," joked Hastings. 

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