The VOD company is eyeing off local partners for a possible push into Asian markets, while the CEO says he's "tired of excuses".
Greg SandovalFormer Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Netflix held a conference call in the US on Tuesday to discuss its less-than-stellar Q3 earnings. CEO Reed Hastings acknowledged that it failed to meet a quarterly goal for signing up new customers to its streaming service, and will now miss its full-year target of 7 million new streaming customers. According to its revised subscriber numbers, Netflix will now finish the year with between 4.7 million and 5.4 million new streaming subscribers.
During the call — which included CFO David Wells — the pair received a number of questions around the Netflix push into international markets, and what the poor figures will mean for expansion plans.
Hastings confirmed that an Asia push is still a possibility, stating that as Asian markets can be a tough run for Western companies, partnering with local companies in the same video-on-demand (VOD) space is "definitely a factor" that Netflix is still considering.
Exactly what the company considers "Asian markets" wasn't too well defined in the conference, although Netflix has been hinting at an Asia-Pacific move for some time now.
Earlier in the call, Hastings addressed a question from an analyst who wanted to know about the effects of "seasonality" and the Olympics on Netflix's performance. Netflix has previously said that the London 2012 Olympic games and warm summer months sapped demand for video entertainment, and suppressed new subscriber additions.
But with a golden opportunity to dump the company's troubles on these factors, Hastings appeared to tear up the script.
"You're very gracious, because I imagine what you really feel is: 'why do we make seasonality excuses and then Olympics excuses?' And aren't you getting tired of hearing it?'" Hastings told the analyst. "We are tired of making those excuses, as opposed to getting back to our track record."