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Time Warner CEO: DVD Not Declining as Quickly

8 Dec, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said sales of DVD movies in 2009 have not fallen as precipitously as in 2008 when the packaged-media industry encountered the economic recession for the first time.

Speaking Dec. 8 at an investor summit in New York, Bewkes said sales of Blu-ray Disc new releases and higher-margin electronic sellthrough and rental continue to sustain home entertainment.

“DVD trends are not declining as fast as they were last year,” Bewkes said. “I think some of that was the pressure of the economic contraction.”

That said, Bewkes reiterated his concern about $1 DVD kiosk rentals and their appropriate place in the home entertainment food chain. He said he would support the business models that have appropriate margins and not those that don’t.

“There is certainly a place for [kiosks],” Bewkes said. “[But] there’s a question … where they should be in the temporal chain of distribution.”

The CEO said rollout of TV Everywhere, which allows monthly subscribers to watch repurposed programming for free on demand via the Internet and portable media devices, was gaining traction among satellite, cable and telecommunications companies eager to grow and retain subs.

Bewkes said services such as iTunes, Amazon, iStore and Amazon underscore the value of on demand programming.

“People will pay for quality and convenience, but it has to be a fair deal,” he said. “It supports the ecosystem that makes all these programs free and on demand on any device you want, which is really the key thing.”

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