Bewkes looking to extend TV Everywhere


NEW YORK -- Time Warner ran a recent trial to get movies on cable VOD ahead of their DVD release and is seeing early successes of the TV Everywhere initiative to allow consumers to access more TV shows online.

CEO Jeff Bewkes is also looking to extend that model to the publishing business amid the advance of e-reading devices.

Bewkes updated employees about these initiatives in a memo after the conglomerate's better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday, arguing that such innovation must remain a key focus across the company in the digital age.

Here are highlights from the memo:

Time Warner has a long tradition of building businesses on new technologies to provide consumers with the choice and convenience they want – from pay television at HBO and CNN's around-the-clock news to the leadership at Turner and HBO in video on demand (VOD) and Warner Bros.' launch of DVDs.

We're extending that record of innovation throughout Time Warner. For example, we're advancing TV Everywhere even faster than I expected.

As you know, TV Everywhere is an industry initiative to allow those who subscribe to TV in their homes to watch their favorite programs at no extra charge on a wide range of other devices. Consumers get more for their money, and the industry benefits from expanding its current business model to the Internet.

There are several trials underway with major distributors, with additional distributors and programmers planning to join. We're also developing the technological tools to ensure TV Everywhere is a seamless user experience.

Looking ahead, we'd like to develop a similar model for the publishing industry.
As e-readers and other mobile technologies become more sophisticated and popular, consumers will want magazine content available conveniently on a range of these devices.

So it's an exciting opportunity for Time Inc. and the rest of the industry to give consumers the content they want, when and how they want it -- while growing both circulation and advertising revenue.

Among other innovations going on around the company, Turner last month launched the new CNN.com. It's been totally redesigned to make it more visually compelling and to integrate more video and such features as a new opinion section and partnerships with Oprah.com, PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly. The press reviews have been very positive, and we look for CNN.com to extend its leadership as the #1 destination for online and wireless news.

Another example is a recent VOD trial that Warner Bros. conducted with Comcast in Atlanta. In a first for a major studio, Warner Bros. released two films – "Observe and Report" and "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" – on VOD for cable subscribers several days before they were put out on DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.

This VOD trial not only offered consumers more options to see the movies, but it also helped promote the sale of their DVDs themselves.

These are challenging but exciting times for Time Warner. As a content-focused company, I believe that we'll be better able than ever to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by new technologies. At our core, of course, we're about great content.

So I'll close by congratulating the winners of our 34 Primetime Emmys at Turner, Warner Bros. and HBO, which won the most of any network for the seventh straight year.

As always, I appreciate your dedication and hard work.
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