Bewkes: Pay TV VOD interfaces still lag behind Netflix and iTunes

Highlighting what is fast becoming a vital growth sector for content providers, Time Warner Inc. CEO Jeff Bewkes paid special homage to video-on-demand at a New York speaking engagement.

Jeff Bewkes

Bewkes (Source: Time Warner)

"You have demand for the programming beginning on demand, not just here but around the world, which is bringing billions more viewers into the process," said Bewkes, who has headed the world's largest entertainment conglomerate for the last six years.

Speaking at a conference led and sponsored by Spain's IESE Business School, and attended by reporters from event co-sponsors Variety and Deadline Hollywood, Bewkes said that pay-TV providers need to do a better job of curating VOD content, while making program navigation and selection more coherent for consumers.

"The beauty of on-demand is you have everything. The problem you have is, 'It's too much. How do I get to it?' That becomes the next piece for such a valuable set of rights and good programming. The big part of it is it's been paid for, it's available. The small part is that it's not been made easy to use."

Citing the usual prototypes, Bewkes mentioned Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iTunes Store and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) as having the kinds of interfaces that make it easy for consumers to choose content.

Bewkes' comments come after Nielsen earlier this week released data showing that VOD contributes about 4-5 percent of overall 18-49 TV viewership. Nielsen also said that some shows experience a 15-20 percent viewership uptick once VOD consumption is factored in.

VOD programming is now available in 60 percent of U.S. TV homes, the research company added.

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this Deadline Hollywood story
- read this MediaPost story

Related links:
Bewkes isn't worried about Dish's new OTT service
Bewkes: UltraViolet accounts jumped 65 percent in 2013
Turner, HBO drive $153M increase in subscription revenue for Time Warner