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Shira Ovide

Netflix’s Simplicity Is Its Secret Weapon

Sure, it spends like crazy, but its product is deceptively appealing.

How many options does a viewer need?

How many options does a viewer need?

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

I’m cautious about Netflix Inc.’s financial health and the wisdom of its investors as the company finances its growth by spending on investors’ dimes. Netflix, though, has underappreciated advantages over the growing number of Netflix wannabes. 

That’s not to say Netflix will “win” against the coming competition from Walt Disney Co., Apple Inc., AT&T Inc.’s Time Warner and others. As people spend more of their time watching internet video, there will be many winners. But there won’t be an infinite number of beneficiaries, either.