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December 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

CNET News has uncovered a 2008 interview with outgoing Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy that appeared in the Unofficial Stanford blog, in which McCarthy tells of a meeting in 2000 between Blockbuster CEO John Antioco and Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings in which Hastings proposed a partnership.

Barry McCarthy

In the interview McCarthy said, “Reed had the chutzpah to propose to them that we run their brand online and that they run [our] brand in the stores and they just about laughed us out of their office. At least initially, they thought we were a very small niche business. Gradually over time, as we grew our market, his thinking evolved but initially they ignored us and that was much to our advantage.” At the time, McCarthy recalled, Netflix had recently introduced its subscription model. “In 1998, I think the business did $1 million in revenue. In 1999, we did $5 million, then $35 million and then $75 million and $150 million and then almost $300 million…We were, I think, five years to $500 million and another three years to a $1 billion, all because of the subscription model.”