No, according to the company’s chief executive, Reed Hastings, Netflix’s biggest competitor is the pesky human need to close your eyes and sleep for a third of the day.

“You know, think about it, when you watch a show from Netflix and you get addicted to it, you stay up late at night.

We’re competing with sleep, on the margin.

Perhaps the most famous – or infamous – example in recent years is Uber, which realised a few years before everyone else that its true rival wasn’t fellow cab app Lyft, but Google’s self-driving car project.

The company has argued that an in-house autonomous driving capability is crucial to its long-term success as a company.

If another company develops, or licenses, self-driving car technology before Uber’s own in-house product is ready, it will be very easy for them to undercut the company on price – a disaster for a market as sensitive to small differences in cost as cab hire.

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