The company's Chief Content Officer has said Netflix will take on HBO and Vice's current affairs coverage within the next two years
Netflix could be expanding into current affairs, the company’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has said.
Until now, the on-demand service has focused mainly on film and television content with a long shelf life.
However, speaking in Netflix’s Q3 2015 earnings interview, Sarandos said the company could be following its competitor HBO into producing more timely content.
In 2013, HBO teamed up with co-founder and CEO of Vice Shane Smith to produce documentary series Vice for the US cable network. The show’s fourth season is due to air next year.
“We’re definitely being more adventurous in terms of the genres we’re going into,” admitted Sarandos, who pointed to Chelsea Handler’s upcoming talk show on the service.
Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings pushed Sarandos further on the subject, asking “what’s the likelihood that we compete with Vice in the next two years?” to which he replied “probably high.”
Vice launched its own millennial-focused news channel on YouTube in 2014, and has received praise for its coverage of the conflict in Ukraine and the Islamic State.
Speaking to the RTS earlier this year, Vice News' Head of News Programmes for Europe, Kevin Sutcliffe said: “What we realised and, I think, have proved, is that there's a massive thirst for how the world is seen from people aged 16 to 35.”
While Netflix is being more adventurous in the genres it covers, Ted Sarandos said it was unlikely that they would be getting involved in sports coverage.
“There’s a lot of irrational bidders for sports,” he said, “We’re not anxious to become another one […] Sports on demand is not as exciting as sports live.”
Netflix reported a gain of 3.62 million global subscribers between July and September, taking the total to 69.17 million, however the number of new US subscribers fell short of the expected 1.15 million in the third quarter.
The company blamed the introduction of chip and pin credit and debit cards for the smaller gain of 888,000 US users.