Netflix takes a famously light hand when it comes to canceling its shows, to the point that an abrupt first-season elimination—like the one that recently ended Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down—constitutes a major divergence from the streaming service’s usual patterns. If you ask the company’s CEO, Reed Hastings, though, it might be time for Netflix to start giving way more stuff the axe. The trouble, Hastings says, is that the company’s shows have just been too darn good.
“Our hit ratio is way too high right now,” Hastings told CNBC this week. “So, we’ve canceled very few shows… I’m always pushing the content team: We have to take more risk, you have to try more crazy things. Because we should have a higher cancel rate overall.” Unlike regular TV networks, Netflix keeps very quiet about what its actual viewership numbers are, so it’s unclear what sorts of ratings spelled doom for The Get Down, or what it means when Hastings calls the teen suicide drama 13 Reasons Why one of the network’s surprise “unbelievable winners.”
Nevertheless, Netflix intends to push its content acquisition even harder going forward, with the company pushing past the $6 billion it expects to invest this year. (Hopefully, some of those shows will be so insane or awful that Hastings will finally get to fulfill his dreams and smash some shit.) Meanwhile, the service continues to struggle with efforts to include news or sports in its streaming coverage, while Hastings also noted that he finds Amazon’s ongoing push into the streaming market “awfully scary.”