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Insights: Data Is the New King of TV and Streaming

July 18, 2017 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated May 06, 2020 17:12 PM UTC

Mike Hopkins, CEO of Hulu, and Charlie Collier, president of AMC and Sundance TV, explain.

[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER 1: So what's king today? I mean, it's long been said that content is king and that that doesn't change. But today, is it your social media following and your ability to connect one-on-one? Or at least give the perception that you're connecting one-on-one with the fans? Is it your platform and the ownership of the platform? What is it? SPEAKER 2: I think for us, we've really enjoyed-- The Handmaid's Tale is a perfect example of that-- is having the data or about your customer. That one-to-one personal relationship that we have with our users gives us an ability to communicate with them in different ways. Not every subscriber of Hulu is a Handmaid's Tale watcher. They may watch Fear The Walking Dead, which we have the first season of. And they may watch a variety of other things. SPEAKER 1: Only the first season? Come on. CHARLIE: Well it's coming. It's coming. [LAUGHTER] SPEAKER 2: We'll get that second season. CHARLIE: Exactly. SPEAKER 2: And so we have 3,500 series of TV, and so we have these different groups of people watching different things. And that knowledge and information allows us to really go out and communicate with them in unique ways, both on the platform and off. And so for us, I think that's really critical. And I think it's an advantage that we bring to the market. SPEAKER 1: What, for example, have you found out about fans of The Handmaid's Tale that have helped you, in any way, to connect with them? To give them-- to distribute what they want? SPEAKER 2: Sure, well, you can look at exactly what they're watching. So we know that The Handmaid's Tale viewer correlates really well to another original that we have called Harlots. And so we can really look at those customers, really look at the unique attributes of them, and we can do look alike marketing to bring new people in. And then that's a database that we're collecting over time. And as you know, each and every year that goes by, you just get better and better at that. And so that's a pretty unique insight. And actually when I think about what Charlie has to do when he looks at Nielsen ratings, it doesn't really tell you what the viewers of Walking Dead are also watching on your platform or on the other platforms. And think that kind of data really helps you in a variety of ways. Not just for marketing back to new customers, but for what kinds of programming you should be making in the future. CHARLIE: Sure. And, well, we very much jumped into it. Built platforms that are based on not just Nielsen data at large but respondent level data. We work with a lot of third parties to build on our data sets and get pretty meaningful patterns. And what's interesting is you talked about you launched Handmaid's Tale, and you did it with Super Bowl spots. So there was an example this year where we used our analytics to look at our advertising on The Walking Dead and whether or not a Super Bowl spot would matter. It's the number one show on television, so does it need reach? Does it need frequency? When-- where is that event proximate to ours? And we very much used analytics in a way that again-- I don't know if you were generally surprised-- but 15 years ago, that wouldn't have been an analytics-based decision. [MUSIC PLAYING]