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Here's Why I'll Be on Netflix's Q3 Earnings Call Today

I've got questions for Reed Hastings.

Asa Mathat
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Netflix releases its Q3 earnings later today. Normally that would mean I would spend the afternoon writing about the streaming service’s new numbers, then listening to the company’s earnings call.

But today is a little different: Instead of listening to the call, I’ll be on it, alongside RBC analyst Mark Mahaney, asking CEO Reed Hastings and his top executives about the company’s performance.

This is an unusual way for a company to conduct an earnings call, and an unusual role for a journalist, so let me give you a little context: For the past couple of years, Netflix has been allowing outsiders — usually Wall Street analysts who cover the company, though CNBC’s Julia Boorstin has also participated — to conduct its earnings calls, which means they are essentially conducting live interviews.

Netflix doesn’t share any of its earnings information with its questioners in advance, and — this is crucial — doesn’t get to see what its interviewers are going to ask in advance, either. Other than asking me to participate, and setting me up with a facility to join the livestream later today, I haven’t had any contact with Netflix about the call; neither has Mark.

The notion of a journalist participating in an earnings call hosted by a company he or she covers is unusual, and it took us some time at Re/code to be comfortable with the idea — the first time this came up, we declined. But we’ve changed our minds. Netflix has no control over our questions, and asking people those questions is the most basic component of my job. So I’m treating this just like any other interview.

So that’s the background. Here’s the part where you come in: Mark and I have our own questions we would like to ask, and we’ll have more once we see Netflix’s new numbers today. But we’d also like to hear what you’d like to ask Reed Hastings and company. If you’ve got questions of your own, please send them along to me at, and we’ll try to work some of them into the session.

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