OTT Summit: Robert Johnson: Netflix Would Fail As a TV Station

Marina del Rey, Calif -- OTT services are not breaking new ground on stortelling, but have found better ways to package and deliver those stories to consumers compared to their linear TV competitors, RLJ Entertainment Robert L. Johnson said during the Aug. 2 OTT Video Summit.

“What they have done is recognized that the technology platform allows the content to be maximized in any way possible,” Johnson said in an exclusive Multichannel News video interview. “The stories are the stories; they’ve just said we’re going to process them through the technology in ways that enhance people’s enjoyment of the programming.”

Johnson, who founded BET and currently oversees OTT services Urban Movie Channel (UMC) and Acorn TV, also attributed the success of streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu to their ability to deliver quality content to consumers to watch at their leisure on multiple devices.

“Netflix would be a complete failure if it became a Netflix TV station, and they put on a show at 9 o’clock, 8 o’clock, 10 o’clock, and just repeat it,” he said. 

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.