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Time Warner chief hails UltraViolet and HBO Go growth

Jeff Bewkes

Jeff Bewkes

Use of UltraViolet ‘digital lockers’ grew by 65% last year, while HBO Go, the premium cable channel’s TV everywhere service, increased its active user base by 30%, according to Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.

Speaking on a conference call for Time Warner’s year-end results, Bewkes said that UltraViolet ended the year with over 15 million accounts, up 65% on the end of 2012.

“Awareness still needs to improve, but the consumers who use UltraViolet love it. And we think more and more consumers will enjoy its benefits as retail support continues to increase,” he said.

Bewkes said UltraViolet, which is currently available in nine countries outside the US, would be expanded further. He said he was hopeful that the company would be able to achieve “stabilisation in international home video revenue over the next few years”.

Bewkes said that HBO Go active users grew by 30% and average monthly usage increased by double digits. HBO Go is currently available in 23 countries outside the US.

“HBO will be investing even more this year to make the HBO Go user experience even better,” he said.

Time Warner generated almost US$10 billion (€7.4 billion) in revenue outside the US in 2013, including US$3 billion from its networks business. International networks generated over US$750 million in adjusted operating income, which

Bewkes said would rise to US$1 billion in the next couple of years despite “a continued drag from foreign exchange”, with Latin America leading the charge.

Chief financial officer Howard Averill said international accounted for a quarter of HBO’s revenue last year and that it would account for “an even larger portion of HBO’s business in the future”. He said Time Warner is currently investing in the “next generation” of HBO Go.