You Don’t Need Netflix’s Budget to Succeed in Streaming, Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch Says

TCA 2019: “Netflix has done a phenomenal job of convincing everybody…that unless you spend $13 billion you can’t compete”

Last Updated: July 29, 2019 @ 12:40 PM

You don’t need to spend as much on content as Netflix does to offer viewers a quality TV experience, Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch said Friday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills.

“Netflix has done a phenomenal job of convincing everybody in this room and everybody on Wall Street that unless you spend $13 billion you can’t compete and you should take your ball and go home,” Hirsch said. “And that’s just not the case.”

To Hirsch ‘s point, Netflix is expected to spend up to $15 billion on shows in 2019.

Still, with shows like “Power” and “American Gods,” Hirsch said that Starz is poised to become one of the “four or five services” viewers ultimately have in their homes. (Earlier this year, TheWrap reported Americans were spending about $30 per month on an average of 2.6 streaming services.)

“Starz has always been — as HBO and Showtime have been — that kind of premium on top of television,” Hirsch said. “If Netflix and Amazon and Hulu are trying to replace television, we’re happy to be again sold on top of it.”

Hirsch took a moment to tout Starz’s expansion, saying it’s “growing faster than HBO and Showtime right now. And we’re doing it with less programming than both of those.”

Starz has 4 million customers, or about 4 million less than HBO NOW, HBO’s streaming service. Moving forward, Hirsch sees Starz fitting alongside new entrants like Disney+ in a well-rounded streaming diet.

“We think that Starz, with our focus on female, coupled with Disney+ for kids is a great combination for the home,” he said. “So we see ourselves as a complimentary service, not a replacement.”

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