Sometimes it doesn’t pay to market research your upcoming products to death, according to Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.
Bewkes has overseen the development of a few new Netflix-style streaming services recently, such as cartoon-focused Boomerang and art-house film service FilmStruck. (Time Warner is also the parent company of HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros.)
When deciding what new video services to launch, Bewkes looks at consumer interest in an area and the depth of the intellectual property Time Warner owns, he said at Variety’s Tech and Entertainment Summit in New York on Tuesday.
But one thing he doesn’t do is a ton of market testing. “We don’t really do it that way,” Bewkes said. They do a bit to refine the service, but it’s not a huge focus. The problem is that you can ask someone whether they’d like a thing they’ve never seen before, and you’ll get all kinds of answers, Bewkes said.
“I wouldn’t rely on any of them,” he continued. “I never did.” And Bewkes has a pretty amazing track record.
As to whether we are heading toward a ceiling in the amount of premium video people want to watch, Bewkes doesn’t think so, he said.
“Production is chasing demand,” he explained. He went on to say that he thinks we are in the “early stages of continued expansion” of video. “I’m not concerned.”