Confidence was running a bit too high and, consequently, the globe's top service for DVDs and streaming movies advanced too quickly, the company's top official acknowledged at a New York media conference.
Netflix ( NFLX ) committed three significant missteps this past year. In July, the Los Gatos, California -based service split DVDs and streaming video plans, increasing membership prices by 60 percent. In September, the company announced it was rebranding the DVD service as Qwikster, to which the customer response was so loud that weeks later that plan was cancelled.
"Our big obsession for the year was let's not live and die with the DVD," chief executive officer Reed Hastings told The Los Angeles Times on Tuesday at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York. "It turned out to be a little too fast."
The damages from the company's aggressive action include at least 800,000 subscriber cancellations as well as a reduction in the company's multibillion-dollar market value .
The New York Times reports Hastings pegged HBO as its top competitor as the cable television channel has an online streaming product called HBO Go.
HBO and Netflix are poised to long compete with one another, which also will drive them to achieve excellence, Hastings said.