Is Time Warner a Content Company a Service Provider or Just a Stock Promoter?

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While other media companies look at merging their broadcast
and catalogue divisions with online broadband delivery companies, (Comcast
& Universal) Jeff Bewkes the CEO of Time Warner is placing his bets on
content distribution agreements.

 

But just in case that doesn’t work, he’s placing a side bet
on owning the distribution methodology, whatever that may be.

 

He claims, according to a recent article on CNet that electronic
readers like Kindle will have competition that will make these devices more
affordable and subsequently ubiquitous.

 

Sure enough, just a few days later, Barnes and Noble announced
their Kindle operate alike.

—————–

Although personally I wonder why I would want a Kindle or
anything with such limited connectivity options if I could obtain the same
content on my phone
(subscription model or not).

 

Jeff, the reason the Phone (Smart) is becoming so popular is
that it means that one no longer needs to carry two phones, a PDA and a laptop
on the road. One can carry just ONE device.

 

Maybe you should read my article from earlier this year – The laptop
is dead
.

 

That is why the Kindle, as apparently popular as it is now,
will ultimately fail to gain a large segment of the populations attention.

 

Rupert Murdoch already tried the dedicated electronic News Jaguar
version of the Kindle in 1992. It failed miserably. At $14,000 per News reading
terminal it flopped. (Plus of course, the system based on Unix workstations
were not very portable).

———————–

Although Bewkes is quoted in the article as saying that
“expanding access to TV shows and movies online will actually grow the audience
for its content.”

 

“With HBO, we learned that putting
shows on demand
increased viewership,” he said. “So viewership
goes up, and viewers get to watch (what) they want, when they want. And they
get to select their favorite shows from their favorite channels.”

 

(Sounds like consumer content programming ala Home Digital
Media Player to me – BUT with adverts. Gee, that’s gunna be a winner – NOT.)

 

WOW. I’m impressed.

How many millions of dollars did Time Warner have to pay
this CEO to discover that little GEM?

 

However long it took, Time Warner feel that they have the
game sewn up.

In early October. Cnet reported that Time
Warner were saying a definite No thanks to big media deals.

 

The article quoted Mr Bewkes as saying : “Some deals
work in media, but most have not”.

 

I can’t help but review some of their “Media deals”.

 

Warner’s membership of the RIAA – P2P and criminalizing the population.

How did that work out for them?

 

Well the jury is still out. Their stock price certainly hasnt been hurt by file sharing and according to Price Waterhouse neither have their movie sales which appear to be growing at 7.1% compound per annum.

 

Stock price? 

Yep this is the same Time Warner that Grew their Market Cap
26,000% by 5 stock splits in the ramp up inbetween 1995 and the AOL acquisition aided tremendously by the boost that Napster and the free model offerred all internet stocks.

It’s only taken them 9 years to see the light.

 

But then conversely it is the same CEO that decided to spin
out the Time Warner AOL online division just a few months ago.

 

So let me see if I have this right.

 

Market is expanded by making content available online on
demand.

Media companies like to control distribution of the content.

To distribute online you need a distribution agreement with
an ISP/Cable/ADSL operator.

Time Warner AOL was an ISP/Cable/ADSL Operator.

 

QUE ????

 

I wonder if it has anything to do with the miraculous $30
share price drop in March this year, just three days before the one for three
split.

 

The SEC might be blind to these insider shenanigans, but the
evidence is clear.  

 

image 

 

 Then last month on September 23rd the company
announced via Business Wire the release of bonded ADSL connections via their
Wideband Internet service.

 

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Time Warner Cable today
announced its fastest Internet experience yet with the launch of Time Warner
Cable Wideband Internet and Business Class Wideband Internet in New York City.
The announcement was made by Howard Szarfarc, Executive Vice President of the
company’s
New York City
Region.

Time Warner Cable Wideband Internet empowers customers to
boost productivity by saving time when multitasking. This is the perfect
solution for multi-user and multi-device households. Time Warner Cable
residential customers can now propel themselves into the next generation of the
Internet with speeds up to 50 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream for only
$99.95 per month. Combining the company’s robust fiber-optic network with
DOCSIS 3.0 technology, Time Warner Cable Wideband Internet provides download
speeds twice as fast as the company’s fastest broadband service.

 

In other words, subscribers to this service can download a
legal Video on Demand (HD .ts 3 Gb) in 60 minutes or an illegal copy of the
movie via Torrent (SD 700 Mb in 14 minutes).

 

This essentially means that Real time Broadcasts can now be
effected via the service.

 

Goodbye programmed Cable TV, Goodbye Free to air.

 

So Time Warner seem to be listening to the wisdom but
actually saying something else. Or do they actually understand that one
division is actually providing the highway on which the internet file-sharers
depend on to download their ill-begotten gains?

 

Surely the SEC must be about ready to fire off a couple of
questions, like:

 

Mr. Bewkes, if you are claiming that file sharing is
damaging business, then why is your cable division bonding together DSL
connections so that your customers can download via file sharing programs
bigger files, faster?

 

Isn’t this damaging your other income, by your own
admission and claims to the press?

 

But then possibly the SEC are watching the March stock split
results.

 

Which are now worth a bundle.

 

Sometimes I wonder if Time Warner are in the business of
running a content business, assisting file sharers or just manipulating the
stock market.

 



References:

 

Locking in Viewers to Watch the Commercials

 

You Be The Judge – Time Warner – Destroyed or “MADE” by
P2P?

by Tom Koltai on Tue
25 Aug 2009 10:26 PM EST

Time Warner and will combine AOL's online with Time Warner's
vast media and cable

http://www.perceptric.com/blog/_archives/2009/8/25/4299563.html

 

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