It's not often that HBO CEO Richard Plepler is out doing some public speaking about his company. Today, however, Plepler took the stage at The Atlantic's New York Ideas event in The Big Apple, where he was interviewed by NBC's Willie Geist to talk about where HBO stands and where it's headed. While Plepler may not have revealed any major secrets during the interview, it is always interesting to hear how the Home Box Office boss feels about the current status of the premium channel. For example, he talked about having lunch earlier in the day with a friend, who told him how HBO is known for making "good shit." For Plepler, that's music to the ears, as he said HBO is always striving to have the best content possible. "We're trying to create new addicts and build a new generation of viewers. What we're trying to do is become a magnet for the best talent to come to work," he stated.
One of the things Plepler also touched on was how the model of TV and HBO are completely different, stating that television measures its success by CPMs (cost per thousands, in relation to advertising), whereas HBO is focused on selling a brand. "All we're trying to do is create the best product possible," he said. "We don't ask what the numbers are after a premiere; we ask if it delivered on our expectations."
And, hey, of course Geist asked him about Netflix. In response to whether or not he considers the video-streaming giant a direct competitor, Plepler simply said, "No." He went on to say, "As long as we are playing our game, we are going to have our fair share of attention." Of course, a lot of that attention nowadays comes from people using HBO Go (some of whom don't pay for it), and Plepler said the service is only going to get better. As he put it, "We are going to make sure we continue to advance the digital options of our brand."
But regardless of who the competition may be, Plepler believes what's important is that HBO focuses on making its content outstanding. "At the end of the day, it's all about our product," he said.
[Image credit: Getty Images North America]