Netflix boss says drugs could replace movies and TV

Pop a pill and dream up your own adventure.

The Matrix red pill and blue pill
Exercise pill The Matrix's red and blue pill. Image Warner Bros Pictures

Rapidly advancing technology has turned movies and TV into the dominant forms of entertainment, but what’s in store for the future?

According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, he thinks drugs could soon be on the agenda for entertainment fans in generations to come.

All sounds a bit like The Matrix doesn’t it? Pop a red or blue pill then choose your own adventure.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Hastings suggested that the death of cinema and TV could be approaching, with the formats going the way of opera as popularity wanes.

Hastings and his Netflix boffins are on the hunt for “the new form of content” to engage consumers – hence the rather out-there drugs suggestion.

“The ultimate challenge for us is: What is that new form of content? Is it VR, AR? Is it pharmacological?” he asked.

“In 20 or 50 years taking a personalised blue pill, you just hallucinate in an entertaining way and then a white pill brings you back to normality is perfectly viable; and if the source of human entertainment in 30 or 40 years is pharmacological we’ll be in real trouble.”

Maybe Netflix should be getting into the drugs business? After all, Narcos has given them a pretty significant head start in that terrain.

Whatever the case, the streaming giant’s latest big release Black Mirror is looking eerily prophetic.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn