Netflix opts for low-fi results
Video streaming firm
grilled over new approach by moderator
Another week, another
live earnings video. Yesterday, Netflix became the second company in
just over a week to replace its quarterly call with a live video
stream, following in the footsteps of
Yahoo! last Tuesday.
The two videos couldn’t have been more different in style, however.
While Yahoo! put on a slick, news-bulletin style show featuring CEO
Marissa Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman, Netflix’s more basic approach
featured three executives sitting in front of webcams on their
laptops. ‘I hope the quality is acceptable, and we look forward to any
suggestions from you afterwards,’ said CEO Reed Hastings.
‘I hope the quality is acceptable’ – Reed Hastings, Netflix
Netflix also mixed up the
Q&A format, bringing in Julia Boorstin, CNBC media reporter, and BTIG
Research analyst Rich Greenfield (also on webcams) to ask questions
submitted in advance via email and Twitter.
The questions came in from institutional investors, retail investors,
sell-side analysts and other companies in the media industry,
explained Boorstin, and were consolidated before being posed without
Julia Boorstin of CNBC and BTIG Research analyst Rich
Greenfield moderated the webcast
Boorstin used the first
question to ask Hastings about the new format. ‘There has been a lot
of criticism about your decision to format the call this way,’ she
said. ‘How do you address concerns it actually minimizes the ability
of investors to communicate directly with you?’
‘I think we should process that after the interview. Let’s see whether
it’s productive or useful for investors and see what they think,’
Hastings said in a brief response.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Netflix has run into controversy
over its IR program. In December, the SEC said it was investigating
the firm over a possible disclosure violation following a Facebook
blog post by Hastings that contained information on monthly viewing
The SEC later dropped its investigation into Netflix. It also took the
put out new guidance on how US disclosure rules apply to social media.
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