While Netflix's past has been marked by a staunch opposition to cable companies, its future may not tell the same tale.
At an investor event in San Francisco, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings talked about his thoughts on the long-term future of his company, which, contrary to what you might think, may find itself closer to cable companies rather than in opposition to them.
How does Netflix plan to do this? Via its original content efforts, which have already begun with shows like Lilyhammer and the David Fincher production of House of Cards, which will premiere later this year.
Hastings called it a "logical path" to be connected directly to cable companies, which could bundle Netflix in much the same way that they do channels like HBO and ESPN.
So, instead of helping you get rid of your cable subscription, Netflix, apparently, wants to be a part of it.
That, of course, flies in the face of the popular image of Netflix as vanguard in the whole cord cutter movement story we are all so fond of telling. (Even though there's evidence to suspect that that narrative's a false one.)
So, does Hastings see something in the tea leaves? Probably. Increasing distribution rates have been a mounting problem for Netflix, as the recent spat with Starz has shown. Starz ended up pulling popular titles like '"Toy Story 3" and "Scarface" simply because Netflix wasn't willing to shell out the requisite cash to offer them.
So it's perhaps obvious that Hastings has caught onto a certain reality: Netflix's ability to rely on other companies' content isn't going to last forever, especially as these companies transition to creating their own Netflix-like services and squeeze Netflix out of the deal.