Streaming has a new convert. John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks, and a frequent critic of streaming, who once slammed Netflix for poor quality fare, has joined the revolution, reports Bloomberg.
What changed his mind? A corporate merger. Disney acquired Fox, and Landgraf found himself working for a company with TV and movie studios, in addition to Marvel, Pixar, ESPN and Lucasfilm.
Now, FX’s content, an estimated 1,600 episodes, will stream on Hulu, which is owned by Disney. New series, like “Devs,” even get their own brand: FX on Hulu. Future episodes of FX shows will stream on Hulu after airing on TV.
“We can radically increase their volume overnight, just as they can radically increase the number of subscribers we can get our shows, too,” Landgraf, a 16-year-vet of FX, told Bloomberg. “When you look at multiples of what Netflix or Amazon are spending relative to a few years ago, you get dwarfed by the level of investment.”
There is also the reality of scale: FX’s subscribers are dropping; MoffettNathanson reports FX’s viewership has sunk 15 percent each of the past two years. Conversely, Hulu “passed 30 million subscribers last year and grew faster than Netflix in the U.S.,” Bloomberg noted. Disney’s three streaming services, Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ have more than 66 million subscribers combined.
FX plans to release 21 shows this year and its first feature-length documentary, “AKA Jane Roe,” about the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on abortion rights.
“FX on Hulu,” will stand out, Landgraf told Bloomberg.