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Netflix executive talks technology and coming attractions

Featured Events | Apr 05, 2017 |

At one point or another, we’ve all fallen victim to binge watching.

Netflix makes it easy, but it wasn’t always this way. Before Netflix became a household name for online video streaming, it was a DVD-rental business, like Blockbuster—yet Netflix adapted, survived, and thrived.

To share more on the company’s journey as well as his own, Dave Temkin, Netflix’s vice president of network strategy and architecture, joined moderator Juvoni Beckford, BS ’13, to talk with students as part of the Gabelli School Speaker Series.

“My day-to-day focuses on two main areas: technical, and the business aspect of running the network that delivers Netflix’s content,” Temkin said.

He detailed the nature of negotiating with carriers to host the Netflix platform, which has been scaled to more than 100 million customers, as well as the risk of piracy, which may vary globally and locally.

“We’ve found that in countries like here in the United States, Australia … people are truly engaged in the product and the fantastic content offering, and that piracy tails off,” Temkin said.

When the habit of binge watching was brought up, he was matter-of-fact.

“If people want to sit down and binge-watch, they should binge-watch. I’ve surely had weekends where I’ve powered through something because I didn’t want to go out, and that’s fine.

So what’s next for Netflix?

“From a content perspective, what we’re trying to figure out is how to do more for less. We want to make sure that when you want to watch something on your phone, that that experience is as good as possible with as little bandwidth as possible,” reflected Temkin.

Though no one can tell the future, it sounds like binge watching may be around for a while.

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