Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has long stated that he considers HBO — not cable operators — Netflix’s primary competitor, even though HBO has yet to offer a standalone streaming service. Last year, Hastings stated his goal was to “become HBO faster than HBO can become us.” In other words Hastings wanted Netflix to grow larger — and offer a better selection of original and licensed content — before HBO finds the courage to make the obvious and inevitable step toward a standalone broadband streaming platform.
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Netflix has made great strides in that regard, Hastings bragging on Facebook this week that Netflix surpassed HBO in total subscriber revenue ($1.146 billion to HBO’s $1.141 billion) last quarter.
“They still kick our ass in profits and Emmy’s, but we are making progress,” crows Hastings. “HBO rocks, and we are honored to be in the same league.”