Why the Netflix CEO wants to be cancelling more shows

'Our hit ratio is way too high right now'

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 01 June 2017 13:09

Netflix has notoriously few duds (although there's an argument that they're less visible, not being ripped from a primetime broadcast slot), which on the surface of it is a good thing.

Its success with originals does however suggest that it might be painting by numbers a little, in some cases creating TV it knows will be successful rather than surging into new and unique areas - I've certainly noticed a trend in a lot of shows feeling very "Netflix", almost cookie cutter.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who we spoke to on our podcast recently, had this to say to CNBC this week:

“Our hit ratio is way too high right now. So, we’ve canceled very few shows … I’m always pushing the content team: We have to take more risk; you have to try more crazy things. Because we should have a higher cancel rate overall. [By taking risks] you get some winners that are just unbelievable winners, like 13 Reasons Why. It surprised us. It’s a great show, but we didn’t realize just how it would catch on.”

It's a refreshing notion, that a CEO is driven by a lack of under-performers to demand more daring television: that, or, being the savvy PR machine that Netflix is, this is the sort of thing it says publicly, while crunching the algorithms and making bankable hits privately...

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