"It is very clear that all the TV in the world is going to go on demand, and it's going to happen with both broadband [subscription video on demand] companies and the traditional TV companies," he said during Wednesday's earnings call for Time Warner's first quarter of fiscal 2015.
Last month Time Warner introduced the HBO Now service, with Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report serving as the first digital broadband provider and Cablevision (CVC) as the initial cable provider to offer the service. The effort is still early yet, but Bewkes is already talking up its value. "We're laying the groundwork for HBO's next leg of growth," he said.
That's just one of the ways the company is taking advantage of broadband distribution to extend the reach of its content, he said. Time Warner also started the rollout of HOOQ, a subscription-video service in Asia provided in partnership with Sony (SNE) - Get SONY GROUP CORPORATION SPONSORED ADR Report and Singtel.
Time Warner needed something to jump-start its stock and its first-quarter results showed a few sparks of life. Its revenue rose 5%, to $7.1 billion, but its 12% rise in operating income, to $1.8 billion, factored in declines for Warner Bros. and HBO.
The company's Turner cable-TV division, which includes TNT and TBS, reported a lift attributed to the airing of the NCAA college-basketball tournament, as well as growth from its news division. That division reported its revenue had climbed 5%, to $2.7 billion, for the quarter, which included a 4% ad revenue increase. At 2:11 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Time Warner stock was priced at $85.54, a rise of .65% thus far for the day.
But the earnings call was telling for its attention to subscription video on demand and Bewkes' praise for Apple TV on this front. "We think Apple is very forward thinking about the combination of television and Internet," he said.
The partnership formed for HBO Now provides one example as well as the inclusion of CNN Go on Apple TV, Bewkes said. There have also been rumblings of a television bundle through Apple. "It's no surprise that Apple would be interested in launching a video product in the nature of a larger bundle as time goes along," Bewkes said.
Furthermore, Bewkes expressed confidence that other players such as Sling or Sony might also explore offering such bundles. "There's a lot of energy around video on demand that is getting supercharged by broadband delivery," he said.
There is one trend in the way some individuals consume media that Time Warner is not warming up to, though. "We don't think much of the binge strategy for our networks," Bewkes said. "Think if Game of Thrones [were] available all at once. You don't want that."
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.