×

Chris Albrecht: Pay-TV Packages Must Be Revamped for Younger Consumers

This column is part of Variety’s Broken Hollywood feature. For more execs and their opinions on the state of Hollywood, click here.

There’s a demographic shift that has been occurring in the U.S. Millennials are now the largest segment of the population, Hispanics are the fastest-growing, and those two groups form the nexus of the next consumer generation. They tend to have less disposable income, but they are very tech savvy. There’s low-priced connected on-demand equipment that is attractive to them.

We have a lot of debate about whether people are going to be “cord-nevers.” The way I look at it is everyone is going to have some kind of high-speed connection, whether it’s tethered broadband or high-speed mobile. I think the question is will they be “traditional video bundle-nevers.”

The challenge is to start to address that as partners with the distributors so that we can innovate within the current structure. It’s going to take a willingness for everybody to sit down and work together so that the golden goose can continue to provide for all of us.

The issue is how do we get these emerging households —
the next consumer generation — into our tent of being their supplier of digital video content. How can we work with large MVPDs to do this; it’s really their challenge. Without trying to upset the entire apple cart, we need to find ways to intelligently transition and adapt our business strategies to be able to invite this next generation of consumers into wanting our products. We need to find attractive packages that make them want to sign up. I don’t want to see the business abdicated to someone who is out-innovating us.

While many people want the big video stack, the next generation is looking for something else. They’re starting to feel entitled to having what they want, when they want and where they want it. That’s not the way our business is structured now. We need to adapt to that.

The big media companies have got to keep that video bundle together. Whether you’re Fox or Time Warner or Disney or NBCUniversal or Viacom, you’re making a ton of money off the status quo. But that status quo is not going to enlist the next generation of consumers.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven

    Department of Justice Backs Led Zeppelin in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice has weighed in on the next big music copyright case on the horizon following the Katy Perry “Dark Horse” decision, and taken Led Zeppelin’s side in the long-running copyright dispute that pits the writers of the group’s anthem “Stairway to Heaven” against the publishers of the earlier song “Taurus” by [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Prosecutors Make Last-Minute Move to Bolster Case

    The Manhattan D.A.’s office is making a last-minute bid to strengthen its case against Harvey Weinstein, who is set to be tried next month on charges of rape and sexual assault. Prosecutors notified the court on Tuesday that they will seek a new indictment. The D.A.’s office wants jurors to hear from Annabella Sciorra, the [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein's Autopsy Rules That He Died by Suicide

    Jeffrey Epstein’s death earlier this month has been ruled a suicide by hanging. The New York Times reported on Friday that the city’s medical examiner has officially made the ruling six days after Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. According to the Times, which cites a [...]

  • America Ferrera Eva Longoria

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and More Sign Letter to Latinx Community: 'We Will Not Be Broken'

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and more have signed a letter published in several media outlets on Friday standing in solidarity with the Latinx community. In response to the heightened tension surrounding President Trump’s immigration agenda, the El Paso shooting that targeted Latinx people and the ICE raids in Mississippi, the letter addresses the language used [...]

  • Research Firm Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox

    Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox, an Entertainment Marketing and Ticketing Startup

    Screen Engine/ASI, a market research firm that specializes in focus-group testing of movies and TV pilots, has acquired ticktBox, which operates a digital marketing and ticketing platform used by movie distributors, exhibitors, and TV networks. Terms of the deal, which closed Aug. 9, weren’t disclosed. With ticktBox, SE/ASI will have one of the largest databases of [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST

    Eric Reid, Jemele Hill – and Colin Kaepernick? - Take Jay-Z to Task Over NFL Partnership

    When news of the presumably lucrative entertainment and social-justice deal between Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and the NFL leaked on Tuesday, initially there was a surprising lack of public reaction or outcry. But after a press conference where Jay and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell officially announced the deal at Roc Nation’s New York offices yesterday — [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content