Former Sony Entertainment CEO spent 2 weeks binging Netflix shows and says he finally understands why everyone is obsessed

Snap Chairman Michael Lynton.

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Snap Chairman Michael Lynton.
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Getty

NEW YORK – Former Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton finally has time to do what almost all teenagers do these days: Binge-watch Netflix.

Over a two-week period this summer, Lynton went deep down into the Netflix rabbit hole, he said at the New Yorker TechFest conference on Friday.

“I could never understand what Netflix was really, until I got stuck in bed this summer for two weeks when I was sick,” Lynton said.

“And I experienced what most teenagers experience, which is I got caught in the world of Netflix,” said Lynton, who stepped down from the Sony Entertainment in January.

What did he watch?

“I watched everything. I watched Turkish dramas, I watched – because they keep just pushing stuff at you, and just when you think you’ve had enough, you’ve tried two or three hours of one thing and they say ‘you don’t like that, we’ve got an Irish comedy here and an Iranian thing there’ and on and on and on it goes.

“Eventually, you pop up, say, ‘I’ve got to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ which just came on HBO and then you get out from it. For the rest of the time, you’re in their world, and you just wander around in their world for as long as you want … that’s pretty powerful.”

Five second warning

As the chief executive of Sony Entertainment, Lynton oversaw several major blockbuster movies and TV shows, including the original “Spider-Man.” The future of Netflix is “pretty bright,” Lynton told interviewer David Remnick on stage on Friday. “I think it’s going to keep growing.”

These days Lynton is closely involved with the tech industry as the Chairman of Snap’s board of directors, thanks to an early investment in Snapchat that his wife and kids led him to.

A now-removed feature in Snapchat used to play the next short video without the user having to press a button, which sounds a lot like a Netflix feature that Lynton expressed admiration for.

“Even better yet, they say, ‘in five seconds the next show’ just pops up, and you’re right back into it,” Lynton said.