tv Hulu CEO Discusses Streaming Television at The Atlantic Festival CSPAN October 4, 2018 6:58pm-7:15pm EDT
culture of their time. and the 25th anniversary of the u.s. capitol cornerstone where george washington and area freemasons first laid the corner of the u.s. capitol building during a celebration that included corn, oil, and wine. american history tv, this weekend on c-span3. recentlyndy freer spoke at the atlantic festival about how the market is changing on how people get video content in the u.s. and worldwide. [applause] that.remind me to bring good morning, everybody. television. television used to mean something pretty simple.
there was one traditional cable bundle, there was one remote, there was one time when you could watch friends, and that was pretty much it. television means so many different things. so many companies are offering their own bundle. you have netflix, hbo, hbo go, and then you have hulu. tell me how hulu fits into the television landscape? television has always deliveryned by its mechanism. this is the first time your delivery mechanism allows you to change the experience. you don't have to be linear, you are to be be scheduled, you don't have to be live. it has moved into the consumer controlling their experience. hulu will be ultimately the first choice, with the most choice and the most content. we are excited about the future. you mentioned live
television, and hulu has an option to pay for access to live tv. i don't own a subscription to traditional cable. i own a subscription to hulu, along with netflix and amazon. what is the point of live television? i do stand the purpose of live television for sports. it's useful to watch sports as it is happening. i understand the purpose of live television for news as well. when news breaks, you want to hear what it means, you want context. but live television for something like this is us, or the walking dead, why can't that just be streamed? why can't it live on a service where you can click into it whenever you have time? randy: i agree. [laughter] our live product what we see verily clearly -- what we see very clearly is news and sports dominated programming,
and even live programming is watched on demand. and you are right. the reason we define live, this night us live on tuesday at 8:00, it is scheduled. and the economics of the business over the past 20 years feeds.own up around live we have to get out of that. the technology of live is hard. it makes ever the more complicated. we take in about 1800 live feeds a minute, all the affiliates around the country, everything else, that's really complicated. if we can get businesses, brands, to understand mtv doesn't need, there's no reason for mtv to have a live feed. there's no reason for amc to have a live feed. if they want to drop the walking dead sunday night at 9:00 they could certainly still do that, but you are right. news, sports, other big-ticket events, you need live
opportunities. but for the majority of programming, you don't need live. and what that is going to do is force real brands to elevate, brandsvo, free-form, that will elevate in this world and be presented to consumers in a way that makes sense, versus a linear channel that you tune into just because it is 8:00. it doesn't work. live mtv doesn't need a television channel. fx doesn't need a live television channel. and they all live in a cable bundle that is declining in popularity and penetration every year. his traditional television doomed, is it in permanent structural the client? you have to flip that traditional television to the traditional television distribution mechanism is in decline. comcastompanies like
and charter and directv, they are a delivery mechanism. do find tv as programming content and storytelling, characters, that has never been better than what is going on in the marketplace today. we are challenging is, evolving to a much more consumer-driven experience, much more on demand, so a consumer can create their own opportunities in a way they couldn't and is scheduled, linear world. so i do believe traditional networksundled cable scheduling thing for you, will become increasingly unnecessary and a world where you get to curate and choose what you want. host: you had a couple of hits, a handmaid's tale, looming tower , which i enjoyed. option fornt a big little fires everywhere, the new york times bestseller. that was an option that included hbo, but also
amazon and apple. your a historian of media -- you anda historian of media, television companies used to be competing with television companies, broadly defined. apple is not even broadly defined as a television company. it's a software company. amazon is not defined as a television company. it's a retailer. it's the first time that companies are betting against you for rights to turn a book into television. it is a change the future of your business to have that too richest companies -- the two richest companies, who are not even television companies, competing for your business? randy: when you put it that way, it sounds a lot scarier. [laughter]
you the opportunity to compete against the biggest companies in the world. and i think that comes back, particularly with storytellers and creators, this is in our dna. there are two or three companies right now the make content in ways that are really, that's do. we hulu, netflix, hbo, fox, disney, nbc, those are companies that know how to make content. that's where the best content comes. fx does a great job at making content. so i think storytellers want to be treated in ways where their content is appreciated, their talent is appreciated. -- and they don't necessarily want to be there for another reason. there are stories about what apple is going to do, amazon has the resources to do a ton of things. . i think it gives us a competitive advantage. if we are really good with talent, really good with storytellers, and if we really
understand what consumers are looking for out of content, at of programming, at a storytelling, then we should be able to service those customers much better than people who are not in it. i don't mean to scare you further. disney saids, walt he was coming out with the first, feature-length animated film, snow white. withe had competition anybody that took up time. he said the car was technically competition against disney, because people driving around suburbs was time that they weren't in a cineplex. you guys are in a situation, i won't colonnade conundrum, but you are in a situation where young people don't seek television like we see instagram, they use facebook, snapchat, youtube is now tv or them as well.
you consider those competition that steve consider those companies your competition? randy: sure. anything that takes up time is competition. buy into autonomous driving, there are going to be hours of the day freed up in cars where you can watch video and do other things. i think that's going to free up more times. again, people love stories. against all companies including the atlantic, because you have to read ultimately, and that takes up time. [laughter] we think video is another way to create opportunities to learn and do other things. day, is only 24 hours in a and people watch a tremendous amount of television today, a tremendous amount of storytelling. and we have a tremendous amount of runway to catch up and take more of the current share. and we think there will also be new opportunities, based on some of the technology that will free up time for people. host: let's spin it out a
little. cars are, self driving snake throughto suburban streets and people are reclining and watching handmaid's tale season 17. randy: she is still there. to bothve me protections about the future of television in 2025, 2030? long way away to predict what is out there. there are a couple of trends out there right now that will continue to evolve. back to your point, other than news and sports, you won't think about lives as a component of -- won't think about live as a component of your schedule. you will be curating, personalizing, for lack of a better word, creating a playlist. video consumption in the household will be a center point
that you get to. it will help you do a tremendous amount of things that you don't do today through that process. so live will be gone. consumers will be in control. in the second part of that is, as voice search comes to video, you are going to see another huge escalation in usage, likething from content handmaid's tale and others that you want to be distracted with do engaged with, to how to, i want to learn something, education, teaching, coaching, parenting. you will have all this video available to you based on your question and your app. like, i want to learn about the supreme court. i want to learn about the environment, and you are going to have a list of things that come up.
so i think true voice search in video will be revolutionary. voice activation, streaming, the self driving car, sort of a television pond. -- television pod. stop, gohen you say forward, go back in a car, you are actually talking about streaming television, posit, though forward, rewinding. possibilityut the of re-bundling in the future. so much of media history is about the re-bundling of unbundled bundles. [laughter] stay with me. a music album was a bundle of bygs and it was unbundled steve jobs and itunes. they said you can just pay $.99 for a song. and spotify said we are going to re-bundle all of that, pay $10 a month have access to every song that has ever been recorded. do you think the same evolution
is going to float for television, that we are in an unbundling right now? they used to be a traditional cable bundle but now it is netflix and hulu and amazon. but in the future, there will be a spotify for television, a rebundling of all these products. randy: we are already there. the average cable bill or pay television bill was $100. then netflix came out it $9.99 and they bundled a ton of stuff. netflix, you pay for hulu, so it is pay-tv in some ways. but they made the pricing so appealing and they got the content to a place where it was good, and good enough at that rate. so you do have this choice. you didn't used to have it. or $70, there00, was no $10 choice. ataw something recently $5.99, where you get all the
greatest television ever made available to you. we have read bundled at this year over $45 billion of content over $45dled this year billion of content, over 75,000 episodes of television worried that is the biggest bundle of video content aggregated anywhere, and i think that is going to continue. netflix will continue to do that. we will see what amazon does. i think that is where the aggregators, netflix, us and some others, versus companies doing stick -- doing it for specific reasons, being more specific in what they do. ultimately the economics of bundling are better than the economics of a la carte. host: disney and fox have announced they are merging, they are going to merge.
disney is going to create its own dedicated disney streaming sites. that company may also loan hulu hulu as-- may also own well. i you preparing for the merger -- are you preparing for the merger? randy: sure. when the fox deal closes disney will loan 60% of us, nbc will loan 30% and our board meetings are a ton of fun. [laughter] we are preparing from a financial standpoint but also from a content standpoint. we think that the disney platforms are going to be additive to us. think about it. plus, disney kids, movie channels, about 30% of our usage time his kids content. our goal will be any consumer -- and that is a really big part of kids viewing.
serve kids with content across the television landscape and then bundle in the disney app or other apps, that is going to benefit our consumers. what is changing and video content is the consumer is in control. youare in control of what want to watch if you want to be. if you want to be passive then sit back, you can be passive vents it that. passive and sit back. host: great. thank you very much. [applause] >> thanks very much. it's a pleasure to be here with arlan hamilton. if you have your copy of fast company magazine, you will see her on the cover. is trying to change the pattern of venture capital and bring in the kind of inclusive technology we've been hearing ab