Home / Channel / NBC executive not concerned about Netflix, Amazon, Youtube

NBC executive not concerned about Netflix, Amazon, Youtube

If you look back to the late '90s, early '00s, there were a lot of people claiming that the internet wasn't a threat to their business and wouldn't change the way we do things. That's why it feels like deja vu when head of NBC's research and media development, Alan Wurtzel, claims that he doesn't think Netflix poses a problem for the network.

“The reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated,” he said in a chat with AdWeek, where he revealed third party data that suggests how many people have been viewing Netflix and Amazon shows.

Shows like Jessica Jones pull in around 4.8 million viewers for each episode, while Man in the High Castle was said to only have secured 2.1 million and Orange is the new black, just 644,000 viewers per episode. If true, these stats mean that even with heavy investment and promotion from these streaming services, not all shows are a hit.


That's the smirk of a man who knows wishful thinking when he hears it

However as cocky as Wurtzel was with stats in hand, he strays into interesting territory when he claims that the real reason he's not concerned about streaming, is because once people have watched a few shows on these platforms, they go back to watchting normal TV, apparently.

“I don't believe there's enough stuff on Netflix that is broad enough and consistent enough to affect us in a meaningful way on a consistent basis,” he said. “[After the third week] people are watching TV the way that God intended.”

He was also blase about the threat posed by Youtube and similar streaming platforms, claiming that people barely used them. According to his statistics, young adults spend over 60 hours a month watching TV, but just 12 watching Youtube. That might be true for those in the 18-24 bracket, but just ask those under 18 – it's all Youtube.

At least Wurtzel sees the value in video on demand with traditional TV though. The stats for NBC's own services factored in DVR and recorded shows, which significantly improved the network's numbers.

Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.

KitGuru Says: It's amazing that this guy doesn't see the writing on the wall. I know a lot of people who don't own TVs (or at the very least licenses) because they watch only on demand services. How can he not see that as a threat to TV viewing numbers?


Become a Patron!

Check Also

EKWB Whistleblower Dan Henderson speaks to KitGuru

Following on from our recent interview with EKWB's CEO, Leo is now getting the other side of the story, straight from Dan Henderson himself, the one who initially acted as the 'whistleblower' for EKWB's internal issues.


  1. Being a UK citizen. I want to see the TV industry ruined and on-demand succeed. Because the TV License is a terrible tax and we should not be forced to pay for entertainment shows produced by the BBC and the inflated salaries of their executives and actors.

  2. not-a-fanboi-honest

    In Ireland they have modified the licence terms such that if you watch streaming services on your computer/mobile device you have to have a licence even if you do not have a traditional TV. Likely the UK would follow suit if/when streaming makes an impact to licence revenue. At least in the UK you get an ad-free service for the licence fee (BBC) whereas our national provider gets the fee and shows ads as well …

    Oh and I do think the TV (or any other similar one) licence should be abolished especially if the recipient has another revenue stream(s).

  3. By streaming services do you mean Netflix, or the equivalent of BBC iPlayer? In the UK you only need a TV license if you watch live TV as it is being broadcast. You can watch catch up shows on BBC iPlayer ect without having to pay the fee, even if you have a TV and just use it for games and movies, or the built in streaming apps on newer TVs.

  4. not-a-fanboi-honest

    Any kind of streamed media, so Netflix, Youtube and iPlayer etc. would all come under the licence. It’s actually “if you own a device capable of receiving those kinds of services”. Like the TV used to be described as “apparatus able to receive broadcasts”. So if you even just have a mobile phone you need a licence effectively.

  5. Thing is the license covers bbc radio too, which I think is fantastic. 5 live sport coverage alone is worth the licence fee imo and that is just a drop in the ocean to what it offers.

    Also no adverts! I used to pay for sky but paying £80 and still having to watch adverts is taking the p$%s.

    I do love netflix and amazon prime though