The self-deprecating humor prefaced a 45-minute treatise on why Mr. Hastings believes Netflix will overcome its recent adversity and remain at the forefront of a shift that increasingly will turn watching Internet-distributed video into one of the world’s most popular pastimes.
His long-term vision calls for Netflix to be selling Internet video subscriptions at prices starting at $8 per month in most markets outside of China.
“If you fundamentally believe Internet video will change the world in 20 years, we are the leading play on that basis,” Mr. Hastings boasted. He quickly added a caveat: “As long as we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot anymore.”
Mr. Hastings sounded as if he intends to stick around to lead the way, despite questions about recent moves that triggered a customer backlash and a staggering decline in Netflix’s stock price that has wiped out three-fourths, or about $12.5 billion, of the company’s market value in five months. Netflix Inc. shares closed Tuesday at $68.14, down from a peak of nearly $305 in July when the company infuriated its U.S. subscribers by announcing plans to raise its prices by as much as 60 percent.
Mr. Hastings said his biggest mistake was trying to phase out Netflix’s once-trailblazing DVD-by-mail rental service more quickly than millions of customers wanted.
• Compiled from Web and wire service reports.