Time Warner to Release VOD and DVD on Same Day

In another bit of news from its earnings call today, Time Warner says it will release all of its DVD titles on VOD on a day-and-date basis this year. That means you’ll be able to order a movie like The Dark Knight via your cable operator on the same day it comes out on DVD, instead of waiting through the usual release window.

Time Warner conducted numerous tests of the program last year. CEO Jeff Bewkes said on the company’s conference call with analysts that DVD sell-through went up (a bit) during the trials, and that the margins from day-and-date VOD were between 60 and 70 percent, compared with 20 to 30 percent for the shiny discs. Bewkes said he expects that the move will “capture a disproportionate VOD share.”

While Time Warner is a big believer in VOD, as far as the cable biz in general — not so much. Bewkes also said during the call that the company plans to spin off its Time Warner Cable division.