Hulu has had recent discussions with CBS (NYSE: CBS) about bringing CBS content to the new Hulu Plus subscription service, and CBS CEO Les Moonves described that possibility at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference as “interesting” and one that remains under consideration. “It makes a lot more sense to us than Hulu does. I think it makes a lot more sense for a couple of partners in Hulu too,” he said. “It’s something that you could see us participate in (in) the future.”
But Moonves downplayed the need for CBS, which has been the only major network to hold out on joining Hulu, to rush to join the service or the recently relaunched Apple TV for that matter. “I don’t think being an early entry is necessarily the greatest thing,” he said, referring specifically to Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) TV. “Guess what? If we call up next week or in a couple months they’ll accept our content.”
On another digital topic, Moonves was asked by an audience member whether there was a risk that authors would bypass publishers, such as CBS-owned Simon & Schuster, and deal directly with e-book retailers instead. Moonves said publishers provided services in addition to printing, including marketing, editing and PR. “It doesn’t appear that (Amazon) wants to do that — right now,” he said.
— Advertising: Moonves only had bullish things to say about the ad market. CBS had a strong second quarter and Moonves said “we see nothing slowing us down.” He described the advertising “prognosis” as “good today and good three months ago.”