James Murdoch is a big fan of streaming television — and his viewers should be too.
The 21st Century Fox CEO touted the still-emerging alternative delivery system Monday morning at the 44th annual UBS Global Media & Communications Conference.
James continued touting the benefits of the latter end — the one that Fox shareholders (should) really care about.
“The streaming business is much, much better,” he reiterated a bit later in the conversation. “It’s much more fluid. There’s an opportunity to understand your customer better.”
After all, a content company can better innovate advertising and offer new ad products, all with lower loads and better prices through the non-traditional method, he said. And as he alluded to in the above quote, Fox can monitor their customers more-closely via the comparatively solid and drilled-down data that streaming and authentication allows. That’s a pretty great tool for future forecasting and upfronts-style negotiations with media buyers.
Murdoch believes consumption on such Internet-based platforms will continue to grow, and financial success there can even offset a rough month from standard cable and broadcast consumption. That doesn’t mean Fox is going to launch its own CBS All Access-style subscription video on demand service post-haste, however.
“It’s super-hard” to pull off the direct-to-consumer paid model, Murdoch said. “Your customer has different expectations of you at some point when they’ve given you their credit card … We have to be a little bit careful that we don’t fragment the business too much.”
Murdoch did say that “at some point” he believes Fox customers “might” have their own (and lone) direct cord-cutting option, however. In addition to its own freebie platforms like the the Fox Now app, 21st Century also owns a stake in Hulu — so Murdoch is pushing millennials there, for now.