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Starz COO, Jeffrey Hirsch Asserts That People Will Have Multiple Streaming Services in Their Homes

Stephanie Sengwe

Netflix has made it quite clear that original programming has been their bread and butter over the last few years. The streaming service admitted that original programming has drawn in huge numbers for them and now that Friends, The Office and other programming will be leaving the platform, the service vows to double down on their budgets for original programming with the money that would otherwise go to licensed shows.

Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch, however, asserted that Netflix has everyone convinced on a false narrative regarding the amount of money you have to spend in order to compete in the streaming space. He told the audience at the TCA summer press tour on Friday, “Netflix has done a phenomenal job of convincing everybody in this room and everybody on Wall Street that unless you spend $13 billion (on programming), you can’t compete, and you should take your ball and go home. And that’s just not the case.”

Instead, Hirsch believes that there is room for multiple services in each home and that Starz, with its focus on female audiences, is just as good a competitor as any. “We think that Starz, with our focus on female (audiences), coupled with Disney Plus for kids, is a great combination for the home,” Hirsch said.

Starz has also taken measures to expand its international audiences, reaching audiences in 50 countries across Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. The OTT service now has three million subscribers, less than half of HBO Now’s eight million. “Over the next two to three years, we think we’ll double that number,” he said. “Starz went from being a domestic-only platform to being available in 50 countries in just over a year.”

Hirsch echoes the same sentiment as Netflix’s own chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who, in an interview with Liberty Global CEO Mark Fries last month, stated that viewers are more likely to add on than to substitute. Sarandos, like Hirsch, believes that viewers go to different streaming services for different things and that all platforms, new and old, will be complementary to each other.

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