Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch, who was promoted to the role in September, told Business Insider about his approach to the streaming wars and how he’s taking the premium-TV network global.
The premium-TV network, which came up in the 1990s as an add-on to basic-cable bundles, still sees itself as a complement to other video services, Hirsch said.
Starz is focusing on audiences that it says have been traditionally underserved by premium TV, including women and African American audiences, with shows like “Power” and “Outlander.”
It’s trying to develop more shows that serve those audiences so they keep subscribing, despite the barrage of other services available to them.
The network has an in-house data analytics tool that helps it identify elements in storylines that might resonate with fans of its existing shows.
Starz is also looking for global appeal, as it moves into more countries outside of the US.
Click here for more BI Prime stories.
Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch knows his network’s place in the streaming wars — and it isn’t in a battle for dominance with Netflix.
The premium-TV network, which came up in the 1990s as an add-on to basic-cable bundles, still sees itself as a complement to other video services, Jeffrey Hirsch, who was promoted from chief operating officer to CEO of Starz in September, told Business Insider.
While competitors like Netflix — and HBO through its broader, forthcoming streaming home, HBO Max — try to replace traditional TV with general-audience streaming services that offer something for the whole family, Hirsch thinks there will still be room for services, like Starz, that serve specific audiences.
“Everybody else who’s out there trying to replace basic television — they’re really trying to be that first service in the home,” Hirsch said. “We were never built to be that first service in the home … We are still sitting in that second or third position, where we’re sold on top of it as a real specialized service was deep and edgy content without ads.”
Starz is focusing on audiences that it says have been traditionally underserved by premium TV, including women, African Americans, Latinx, and LGBTQ audiences.
It’s found success with shows like “Outlander,” a historical-fantasy series that’s popular among women, and “Power,” which was the most-watched premium-TV series among African American households last year.
Starz, which was acquired by Lionsgate in 2016 for around $4.4 billion, has been the subject of recent merger speculation. It was floated in media circles last year as a possible takeover target for an emerging company like ViacomCBS that was trying to fill gaps in its content arsenal and boost production capabilities.
Starz has deals with streamers like Disney Plus
Hirsch, who has kept his head down leading an international rollout and renegotiating TV distribution deals, has also worked to land deals with more streaming services to sell Starz on top of other platforms the way it has traditionally been sold on top of cable bundles.
Starz is available through services like Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, as well …read more
Source:: Business Insider