Shifting gears from its usual habit of releasing videos of Krysten Ritter attacking appliances and glaring at walls, Netflix is hinting that it might be expanding its operations into journalism over the course of the next few years. According to Variety, company CEO Reed Hastings has told reporters that he’d like the streaming service to start providing its subscribers with news programming, apparently ignoring the fact that most of his customers use the site to block unpleasant things like “the news” from intruding into their TV-and-movie-loving lives.
Talking in a video-conference session with fellow Netflix exec Ted Sarandos, Hastings hinted at the possible route the company’s journalistic programming might take, asking, “What is the likelihood we compete directly with Vice in the next two years?” (“Pretty high,” for those of you keeping track.) The magazine-turned-documentary-outlet recently signed a deal with HBO, setting it up to air a nightly news broadcast alongside its documentary series, which already airs on the premium network.
Those comparisons aside, though, it’s still super unclear what a similar program would look like at Netflix. Similar confusion still surrounds the company’s Chelsea Handler-lead charge into the talk show world, too. The company seems determined to put its mark on fields that rely primarily on timeliness as a virtue, suggesting a daily release schedule that would serve as a major departure from what we’ve seen from Netflix before. The soul-destroying possibility of someone descending into a “nightly news binge” that could stretch back for weeks, months, or even years of depressing national events, meanwhile, is too dispiriting to even contemplate at this time.