Kevin Spacey in critically-acclaimed Netflix drama House of Cards.
Kevin Spacey in critically-acclaimed Netflix drama House of Cards.

Television to go the way of horse and buggy by 2030

COULD television be dead by 2030?

The founder and head of Netflix Reed Hastings to a corporate event this week that free-to-air television -- think Seven, Nine, ABC, Ten in Australia -- would be "a casualty of evolution".

Netflix subscribers in the United States and elsewhere watch television shows and movies on demand through online streaming.

"It's kind of like the horse, you know, the horse was good until we had the car," he said.

The gloomy prediction for broadcasters must be taken with a grain of salt of course.

Netflix intends to offer its subscriptions to Australia and New Zealand from next year, a move already shaking up the domestic TV market.

Already, internet-savvy Australians have signed up to the US Netflix, using virtual private networks or VPNs.



Word of Netflix's looming arrival has also sent Australian providers including Foxtel, Seven, Fairfax and Nine scrambling to alter their own offerings.

Beyond a wide range of shows and movies it curates on the service, Netflix has also won critical acclaim for its own creations including House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black.

While Hastings might be willing to offer his view on the market, he's not willing to say how many people actually use his service.

He said ratings were "a benchmark that is irrelevant to the business" and puts too much pressure on shows to perform.

It is not the first time Hastings has predicted doom for the once-unchallenged TV giants.

Digital Trends reports in April last year, he posted an 11-page document suggesting that "internet TV would replace linear TV" within decades.

It also writes that a survey by Cisco Systems in 2011 found 50 television experts agreed that "conventional TV viewing" would be extinct in 2030.