“We’ve been watching the Australian market for a number of years. Five years ago most of the residential plans had fairly low [data] caps and you had BigPond with Telstra and [certain] data was exempted and others wasn’t so it was pretty cosy and Telstra…I’m searching for a better word than dominated,” he laughed, “was a powerful market player there.”
Heh. Reed Hastings knows what’s up. He’s on the right side of entertainment history and he knows it.
“I’ve never seen anything like it where there’s no good internet [streaming] services for five years and then three, boom,” he says, mimicking an explosion with his hands. “The competition between us [Stan, Presto and Netflix] will be fun and intense and great for Australians.
He’s right, we are going to be the winners. Well, unless something you want to watch is on Presto. Sorry Presto.
“Slow internet has always been a challenge. We have slow internet in the US as well. Everywhere else in the world, DSL works a whole lot better than it does here in the US,” Neil Hunt says with a wry smile. “Conversely though, we also have some of the highest [speeds] though like Google Fiber and some other providers’ cable connections are very good. The performance is varied, so we spent a lot of time getting [dynamic streaming] right.”
Hunt explains that because the information being streamed live and real time, the company can find a way to pass three streams at once to a customer.
“Netflix is unlike a phone call or a video conference, it doesn’t have to be continuous and uninterrupted. We can build a buffer of two to three to five minutes, deplete that and then build it up again, and we’ve put a lot of energy into the algorithms to be predictive.”
The technology behind how Netflix actually works is fascinating.