Time Warner vs. Content Owners – Which Side Are You On?

“I want my TWCable TV App” is the slogan that has captivated the industry, after Time Warner released their very innovative iPad TV application on March 15.

The FREE TWCable TV app has experienced over 300,000 downloads, turning the iPad TV app into an overnight sensation. But, a major barrier has surfaced in the form of a few content providers, which have simply highlighted their slow adoption of new technologies and distribution methods. Considering Time Warner’s new TV app capabilities and the freedom it brings to consumers inside the home, which side are you on?

The current debate is quite simple. Time Warner released a new iPad TV app that turns your iPad into a TV screen, allowing you to watch selected live cable TV channels in your home using a WiFi connection. The application simply brings the freedom to your home without requiring any wires, new TVs, and no new set-top boxes. Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?

Well, you would think so. Enter Fox and Scripps, which are major content owners that view the current iPad application as an unacceptable way to deliver their TV channels. The current debate has resulted in cease-and-desist letters sent to Time Warner by some content providers that have demanded the removal of their channels from the iPad TV app.

Time Warner knows the content business very well, since they are part of the content generation value chain. The company is part of a large conglomerate of businesses that generate TV, music, and movies. Given the current situation, the company has decided not to pull the plug on their innovative iPad TV app. Time Warner has gone as far as opening a dedicated website to inform you about their plans with their iPad TV app, and how they will move forward providing you more freedom around your house.

“We believe we have every right to carry programming on the iPad app.  But, for the time being, we have decided to focus our iPad efforts on other enlightened programmers who understand the benefit and importance of allowing our subscribers – and their viewers – to watch their programming on any screen in their homes.”, said Time Warner on their dedicated website.

Time Warner has listed their new TV lineup on the iPad, which consists of TV channels such as A&E, CNN, ABC Family, Bravo, CNBC, Disney Channel, Travel Channel, USA and many more. The company has clearly stated that they will be providing replacement channels very soon, avoiding any changes or app updates while they include additional channels.

Time Warner has also published some strong statements against content providers that according to the company lack vision.

“In the meantime, we will pursue all of our legal rights against the programmers who don’t share our vision.  Your enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm of the programming partners who have embraced the app – rather than those who are solely focused on finding additional ways to reach into wallets of their own viewers – has convinced us more than ever that we are on the right path.”

As the content industry continues to evolve, and believe me it will, all the ecosystem players need to learn how to become more innovative by exploring new business models and distribution methods. So far, the device manufacturers have opened the door to consumers and have provided multiple ways to consume media content. There is no reason for content owners and media companies to avoid the new technological advancements.

Which side are you on? Would like to hear your comments.

About Roberto: A blogger with a passion for applications, gadgets, new technologies, and everything new in this ever-changing technological world. Contact me via Twitter: @PG_Roberto

  • http://zadl.org ZADL

    I ended up deleting the app from my iPad in the wake of the news that Discovery would no longer be one of the channels. Time Warner has a great idea, but if the dinosaurs want to go extinct by clinging desperately to the last century, then they should go extinct.

    It’s also crystallized my decision to get rid of my cable in favor of an internet only existence. TW will still get money from me for bandwidth, but I see no reason to support a bunch of old codgers at networks that seem to be determined to relegate themselves to irrelevance. Hulu, Netflix and Joost will have to do from now on. Sure I’ll miss a couple of shows, but it’s their own fault for wanting to go back to smoke signals and drums.

  • Michael Hull

    Fox news loves to organize boycotts. How do we turn the tables? We the content consumers have already paid for the content to be delivered to our homes. What device we choose to watch it on is absolutely none of their business. If we could get a good boycott going and drop their ratings a few points they might then realize how foolish they really are.