Tom Ascheim & Karey Burke, Freeform: What’s the Future of Television?

– It’s a great time to
be working in television because there’s so many
places to get our content in ways there never have been before. It’s also a challenging
time to work in television because the business of finding ways to monetize that content is harder. – We have to look at
the change as exciting. Challenging, yes, but exciting. If you don’t find it exciting,
you’re in the wrong business because it will change again and again, and that’s the nature of
modern communications. – I’ll summarize with a
really boring statistic, there’s a statistic in
television called putz, which is Yiddish, but also
is people using television. People using television, the metric of the people who use
television is a remarkably stable statistic for 30 or
40 years and never moved. Occasionally it grew a teeny
bit as they were added, we added more television
channels, few more people were in the television viewing world. Starting about 2011, it
slid, especially for people who are younger, before everybody. About half the audience used
to be in this sort of regular measured television
universe was gone by 2015. But they’re watching somewhere else. They’re watching Netflix and YouTube. They’re watching in their own way, and people like choice and control. And I think the biggest
shift for all of us is, we used to be in control and
now the consumer’s in control. The Judo of our lives is
finding a way to still give them the stuff
that they want to watch, but do it in a way that
they want to consume it. And that’s a new muscle,
but it’s an important one. It’s very clear that people
are having more options than they used to have in how
they bundle their content. One of the, Netflix, what’s
an interesting statistic about Netflix, is about 85 percent of the programming that
people watch on Netflix at the moment are not Netflix shows. In fact, they’re other people’s shows. A bunch of our shows, and a bunch of all of our competitors’ shows. People like a good bundle. It’s one of the efficient ways to get lots of content that you love. And I think what’s in debate
for consumers at the moment is not I hate cable or I
must have SVOD services because somehow they’re
just the best thing ever. They’re a lot, they’re very effective and they’re very cheap, relatively speaking. And I think the price value
of what’s in my bundle and what am I getting and
what are the features I get is really what’s going on. I think over time the cable universe is going to look a
little more like Netflix. And I think we’re
finding the SVOD services are starting to get launched
from places like Comcast, and so, they’re merging a little bit more than they were feels like a year ago. And I think if we look about,
we look out at our future, we imagine some of the features that are in SVOD services,
they’re going to be in our expanded sense of what a network means. We are launching a show this January, where we’re making all
the episodes available the day we launch it, so it’s bingeable. So that the control goes
back to the consumer and not just to us. And I think that, assuming
that works, we’ll be doing a lot more of that because we want to meet people where they are. And I think that all
of us will be morphing closer to something that
feels like the middle where there’s still a bundle of stuff, because it’s the most efficient way to buy if you’re a consumer. It might be a little smaller. And it’s going to have some more features. But I think it will still
contain an awful lot of the content they already love.

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