Netflix recently changed its "long term view" note to reflect the new way it sees itself: as a TV network.
On Monday, Netflix made a bunch of small tweaks to the wording in a note meant to advise investors, first pointed out by BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield, but the most telling one is that Netflix changed the sentence that simply read "We are movies and TV shows" to "We are a movie and TV series network."
The change may reflect Netflix's successful focus on original shows similar to those on traditional TV networks like HBO or AMC. "We’re now at the scale where we can economically create original content, debuting on and fully-exclusive to Netflix," the page reads. "Our first five shows were Lilyhammer, House of Cards, Hemlock Grove, Arrested Development Season 4, and Orange is the New Black."
In the past, Netflix had written that while from a business standpoint it is "an Internet TV network," in the eyes of consumers it is "a service and an app, while ESPN and HBO are channels." The company made no such distinction in the updated document, even suggesting that apps will override the concept of "channels" in the coming years.
This "original content" section is much more fleshed out than before, reflecting Netflix's desire to become a destination for high-brow television series. Netflix writes that it hopes to create shows as great as "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad." "With a great original like House of Cards we have created a series of equal perceived quality and have generated the excitement around Netflix."
Netflix's gambit has paid off so far. Over 5 percent of Netflix's bandwidth was said to be used watching the fourth season of "Arrested Development" when it premiered in May. Netflix also gained more than 3 million subscribers during the quarter when "House of Cards" premiered. Netflix plans to double its original television programming.
Still, Netflix cleverly acknowledges the realities of Internet video. "We compete very broadly for a share of members’ time and spending, against linear networks, DVDs, other internet networks, video games, web browsing, magazine reading, video piracy, and much more," another section of the document, highlighted by Quartz, reads.
On traditional TV, a cable network may regard only other cable networks as competition. But for a "network" like Netflix, the entire Internet is just a click away.