Thursday, February 14, 2013

Will Time Warner Inc Change Its Name To Warner Bros?

The big magazine news is the plan by Time Warner Inc. to sell off the majority of its magazine brands to Meredith.  "The deal under consideration is one of several options Time Warner is exploring to reduce its troubled publishing unit. As part of the agreement, existing shareholders in Time Warner and Meredith would receive stakes in the new venture."  Titles that would stay with Time Warner include its flagship brand Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated.

It certainly indicates that Time Warner no longer sees any synergy between its magazine group and its television team.  Despite the need for magazine brands to become more interactive and add video to its online components, the transition of print to digital has been a difficult one for revenue monetization.  Those that can hang through it will indeed find future revenue growth from digital subscriptions and ad revenue.  Where Time Warner is shedding these titles, Meredith still has faith that their is opportunity ahead.

So without a powerful Time, Inc. in the businesses of Time Warner, is it time to rename the corporation to reflect a larger reliance on film and television.  Is it time for them to once again raise up their Warner Bros. business to be the official corporate name of the company?  With this spin off of Time Inc, it might just be the time.

Streaming Wars, Part III, Amazon CBS Expand Deal

No surprises here.  The race is on for content to stream and Netflix and Amazon are racing to expand their inventory.  As CBS is not an owner of Hulu, they have gone out to the marketplace for their streaming syndication deals and have found a partner with Amazon.  "CBS and Showtime series coming to Prime for the first time include America's Next Top Model, Everybody Loves Raymond, Jericho, The L Word, Undercover Boss and United States of Tara, among others."  Syndication has found new opportunities outside local affiliate and cable deals.  In the streaming rental business, viewers can now subscribe to Amazon Prime to view their favorite CBS series on demand online.  Earlier this month, Amazon also got the streaming rights to the hit PBS series, "Downton Abbey".

The race is on for exclusive new content as well as exclusive windows of streaming syndicated content.  And at the end of the day, consumers may find value in subscribing to more than one streaming service.  That can spell good news to all the competitors in the marketplace, provided that they have their own share of exclusive and original content to offer.  It is why in the premium cable space (HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc), consumers buy more than one pay TV service.