The chief executive of A&E Networks has defended the group’s decision to pull back from the distribution of its content on VOD services such as Netflix.
Speaking at RTS Cambridge, Nancy Dubuc said their presence wasn’t worth the changes in behaviour that were coming through as a result. “They have an incredible business, but for me it was about behaviour. The way people were consuming our content was not on a par with what were getting in value from Netflix.”
A&E is continuing to work with Amazon Video on a “piecemeal” basis. “It’s not that we don’t want to work with those companies, it’s that in the short term it just doesn’t work.”
An area where A&E is enjoying success is in the ‘skinny bundle’, the stripped back channel selection popularised by Amazon, and some traditional operators. “The ecosystem is being saturated and we’ve had a fair amount of success by being in the skinny bundle.” One of the issues around the skinny bundle is whether it needs premium sports to pull in the subscribers. “We kind of organically fall into it because we don’t have sports and we don’t have retrains but we are delivering across the group,” said Dubuc.
A&E is also reappraising its international relationships, but Dubuc said she would continue to work with Sky.