“We are standing in their way,” according to Fries, who finds it an uncomfortable thought that he does not know what Amazon’s game plan is regarding video.
“Google, Facebook and Apple are still figuring out where they fit in the video world,” Fries said during this year’s Liberty Global Tech Summit at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam.
“Netflix is a great product and looking in hindsight, in retrospect, the deal with them was easy, a no-brainer. They have a great model, where a small number in terms of penetration still gets them a big number because they are in so many territories. We want to do more with them.”
“Working with them will see their churn moving closer to our churn. I am guessing it’s 10-15% a year, ours is 10-12% a year.”
However, the big question is now what someone like Amazon is doing. “We don’t know what their game plan is, they want to sell more stuff to more people, they are going to sell everything to everybody with a credit card, and for Amazon we are standing in their way.”
“They are a great company, but what they do will have a great impact on our ecosystem. When you can give away what is important to us [their free Prime Video service], our revenue is affected. We have to protect our core business, our revenue stream.”
Interestingly, Reed Hastings, CEO and founder of Netflix, also finds Amazon scary, as he said last June.
In a way, Netflix was a source of inspiration for Liberty Global’s Horizon product. “At the time they didn’t have House of Cards, but they had a great app, a great user interface,” said Fries.
“Cable TV operators did not have a solution for multiscreen, for IP, for all the killer functionality and if you don’t have an answer to that, you are lost. Horizon is a platform that provides that kind of functionality.”
Last year, Fries announced the global deal with Netflix that brought the SVOD service to Liberty Global’s set-top-boxes.