Reports earlier this year suggested Netflix was working on a way to close borders between VPN users trying to slip onto the US service, but in a new interview with CEO Reed Hastings it seems like the exact opposite.
Speaking on the subject of licensed content, Hastings claimed the overarching goal by Netflix is to completely eradicate borders between customers. This means global content for everyone, regardless of country.
“The VPN thing is a small little asterisk compared to piracy,” Hastings said in an interview. “Piracy is really the problem around the world…The basic solution is for Netflix to get global and have its content be the same all around the world so there’s no incentive to use a VPN.”
Of course, it’s not as easy as just flicking a switch and having all US content global. Netflix needs to win over Hollywood and other studios that have licensing agreements in other countries.
Considering Hollywood’s view of Netflix isn’t too peachy, we doubt they are willing to give up lucrative licensing agreements to make the 70 million customers on Netflix happy.
That said, video streaming is becoming a major way to watch TV and movies. The boundaries on content are also being broke down, just a few weeks ago HBO announced Game of Thrones would air simultaneously in all regions.
This could reduce piracy ten fold. If Netflix was able to offer its full catalog to users overseas, that might also reduce piracy. Reduced piracy means more views, which means more subscribers and potentially a higher rate for subscription.
It will take some time to make Hollywood come around to the idea of opening borders with the countries Netflix currently offers its service in. Considering Netflix said it wanted to be in 200 countries by 2016, that could cause even more problems.