Thursday, August 4, 2011

Time Warner, Inc. Proves That Content Is King

Time Warner made a strategic decision to separate its distribution platform company, Time Warner Cable, from its content producing company, Time Warner, Inc. Given the name similarity, few outside business probably know that they are no longer related. Yet this split has enabled Time Warner, Inc to concentrate on building revenue building content without feeling encumbered by a particular distribution platform. The result, double digit quarterly growth.

In all of its content producing businesses, TV shows and networks, print magazines, game software, Time Warner has successfully embraced new media and found additional revenue streams. From iPad magazine subscriptions to ad-supported networks, Time Warner is finding multiple revenue streams to fill the coffers. "Time Inc. announced on Wednesday that all of its magazines would be available on tablets by the end of the year. It asserted in a news release that it would be 'the first major U.S. magazine publisher to make all of its titles available on all leading tablet platforms, with products designed specifically for this medium.'” Embracing the digital world has also helped with cable networks. They cite HBO GO, their new app, as resulting in higher HBO usage and better satisfaction.

Of course it is all about the content and Time management recognize that investment in better content lends itself to better returns. But owning the content, including digital distribution, allows Time Warner the flexibility to best present such content how and where it best serves its audience. Earlier this year, they announced that authenticated cable customers can access the live CNN linear feed on mobile devices. That is an important step. As consumers are more and more demanding that content follow them and not the other way around, Time Warner, without the burden of the cable wire, has the freedom and flexibility to serve it up in multiple ways. Today HBO GO is mobile on demand, CNN is live and mobile. Their magazines are offering iPad subscriptions. It is this digital push and recognizing that "content is king" that will serve Time Warner well in future quarters and years to come.