A+E doesn’t operate its own premium streamer and has no plans to launch one soon, instead pinning its future on the growth of its competition’s direct-to-consumer offerings. The company licenses its content across a variety of digital services, ranging from Peacock to YouTube to Roku. This, Olsen said, puts advertisers on all platforms rather than one owned platform. In particular, A+E claims a stake as an early adopter of FAST, the rapidly growing free platforms such as Pluto TV and Tubi that stream cable-like linear feeds, with 20 channels currently operating and more to come.
“Over the past year, we have listened to your challenges and it has become apparent to us there’s virtually zero consensus on the major topics facing our industry,” Olsen said during A+E's presentation—a 30-minute avalanche of sizzle reels and talking heads. “This is inevitable in times of change and it's actually something we embrace.”
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One such uncertainty that A+E has strategically avoided is the immense cost of operating a major streaming service. Across media giants, decreasing growth in streaming revenue has put them in a bind as cost-saving initiatives will likely take a toll on content output for upcoming slates, an issue that won’t apply to A+E.
A+E boasts 2,500 hours of content for the 2023-2024 season and a robust roster of celebrity talent through partnerships with agencies Range Media Partners and Propagate to star in its content and, eventually, offer to advertisers for bespoke creative. These include Morgan Freeman and Kevin Costner, who will star in a new series for History; new A&E shows starring Rachael Ray and celebrity baker Buddy Valastro; and Janet Jackson, Kelly Rowland and Keyshia Cole being featured on Lifetime.