Netflix has a total of 58 million U.S. subscribers. It added 1.09 million domestic subscribers in the third quarter of 2018, 674,000 in the second quarter and 1.96 million in the first quarter. It is expected to report its fourth-quarter earnings later this month.
“They are an awesome service and have great programming in certain areas,” Freer said of Netflix. “I look at where we are now, with 85,000 episodes of on-demand television, that’s twice as much as Netflix and Amazon combined.”
Both Amazon and Netflix have been spending big on original content, with the latter projected to spend a reported $13 billion in 2018.
It appears to be paying off in critical acclaim. Earlier this week, Netflix scored five Golden Globe awards, more than any other network or streaming service. Amazon won two Golden Globes for its original programming.
When asked if Hulu would spend more on content to compete, Freer replied, “We already spend a lot of money on content. And I think we will continue to invest in that.”
He also pointed to its vast library.
“We can continue to not only drive our library viewing, which we all know still makes up the bulk of everyone’s viewing in this universe, as well as continue to increase our investment in originals, look at movies as a way to drive subscriptions, as well as other verticals like food and travel, to really begin to be the choice and be a full-service television vehicle for consumers,” he said.
Hulu will be 60 percent owned by Disney, once Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox is completed, 30 percent by Comcast and 10 percent by AT&T, which acquired its stake through its acquisition of Warner Media.
Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.