It’s been more than three years since Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner’s CEO, said of Netflix’s threat to his company: “It’s a little bit like, is the Albanian army going to take over the world? I don’t think so.”
Bewkes, of course, has changed his tune, recently saying, “Let’s go over and give a little credit to Netflix. They’re doing a great job.”
Last week, the Time Warner boss dropped this nugget at the Sanford Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference on his view of cord-nevers:
“Once they take the mattress and get it off the floor, that’s when they subscribe to TV.”
Bewkes also contends that cord cutting is “More of a notion that a reality,” despite data from a number of sources that show it’s a notion that has been gathering speed.
I’ve heard something like this before, about 15 years ago at an Associated Press Managing Editor’s conference. A speaker told us not to worry that classified sections were getting thinner and that young consumers no longer were buying newspapers, turning instead to TV and the Internet for their news and information.
Not to worry, he said, when they get married and buy their first houses, they’d start buying a newspaper again.
Uh, good advice, bub.
Toss Bewkes’ viewpoint on cord nevers and cord cutting into that same mash… even aged, it’s not going to make good whiskey.
Here’s the thing, trends don’t often reverse themselves, especially when it involves technology; people just don’t go back.
To his credit, Bewkes also sang the praises of TV Everywhere, saying he expects the technology to “reinvigorate” the TV industry.
“We think as we turn all television channels into full, on-demand, watch-the-whole-season things, that you can basically reinvigorate — the way HBO has,” he said. “We think all of television needs to be revolutionized to that — that’s what we’ve done at the Turner Networks.”
You can listen to his presentation here.