According to Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes, the era of the media mogul is over.
"I think we're in the era of global corporations. The old era of the media mogul were about powerful personalities, they created stars and that fueled their power. It's now big companies [like Apple and Google] that are the stars," Bewkes explained during a conversation with The New York Times's David Carr at the Paley Center for Media's "2010 International Council" meeting in New York Wednesday afternoon.
According to Bewkes, one of the greatest challenges facing media companies today is whether they restrict consumers' free choice by limiting where producers can place their content.
"The old companies [like] Warner Brothers, Fox, are sharing a world with new companies like Google and Apple. These new companies have 75 percent share or more of the areas they're in," he said. "Whoever has the most users, has the most volume and they can do the most innovation. By being there first, they can set the tone for everyone else."
On the rise of Netflix, Bewkes said he's not worried about Time Warner's "TV Everywhere" "antagonizing" the company. He explained that while Netflix's convenience of subscription access is undeniably good for viewers, timing when content is released on platforms like VOD, DVD and in theaters remains crucial.
"What you don't want to do its undervalue the content. It wouldn't make sense if we were putting a movie in a theater and put it out by subscription at the same time. [Then] why would you go to the theater?" Bewkes said. "At home, you're paying for convenience, and it depends on whether you're getting that home entertainment from a DVD or directly through your TV. The industry has been pretty aggressive and innovative about VOD. If everyone here wants to go to a theater, that can't exist unless there is a reasonable infrastructure. There has to be an economic model to pay for it."