Netflix Chief Product Officer says the Future of TV Will be Personalization of Content and No More Commercials


Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt predicted Monday that the future of TV will see the unbundling of cable packages, more personalization of content and an end to TV commercials as we know them.

“Linear TV is ripe for replacement,” Mr. Hunt said, speaking at Internet Week New York. Mr. Hunt said traditional scheduled TV is limited by what he called the “tyranny of the grid,” or the 21 hours of prime-time programming that get the most viewers. Anything that doesn’t fit into that grid gets thrown out, he said.

In contrast, internet TV allows audiences to aggregate over time and space, and can afford to curate content that has smaller audiences at any one time.

Not being beholden to the grid also means Netflix can adopt new ways of storytelling. Netflix originals don’t need to be 48 minutes long to fit into a prime-time schedule, and don’t need to force cliffhangers that keep viewers in suspense for the next episode, because viewers can “binge” into the next episode right away.

“The stories you watch today are not your parents’ TV, and stories kids watch in 2025 will blow your mind away,” Mr. Hunt said.

In 10 years, Mr. Hunt expects entertainment will be more democratized because of increasing personalization.

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