The alleged increases in Blu-ray sales that Hollywood is supposedly seeing weren't obvious in Time Warner's earnings report.
The conglomerate that operates such media properties as Warner Bros. Pictures, Time magazine, HBO, and Turner Broadcasting, reported today large drops in home-video revenue for the quarter ending September 30.
The New York-based company said quarterly revenue in home video and electronic delivery for television shows came in at $161 million, down from $215 million a year ago--a 25 percent decrease.
In home video and electronic delivery for films, revenue shrank 21 percent, from $534 million for the same quarter last year to $421 million.
Overall, Time Warner had a good quarter. Revenue for the entire company rose 11 percent to $7 billion, and adjusted earnings increased 27 percent to 79 cents per share. The company gave a lot of credit to "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which grossed $1.3 billion at the box office. Big increases were also reported in the company's film and television properties.
The decrease in home video revenue was blamed on "difficult comparisons to the prior year quarter's release of 'Clash of the Titans,' and fewer television availabilities for theatrical product."
That may be, but Time Warner's revenue is down in these home-video categories for the first nine months of the year; 6 percent for film and 16 percent for TV.
Home video is in a period of transition and everyone in Hollywood is watching to see where the segment is going. The six major film studios are desperately trying to prop up their home-video businesses, but studio sources there have told me most of the news is bleak.
More bad news from one of the biggest entertainment companies is a significant blow.
Meanwhile, distribution of movies and TV shows over the Internet, which the public seems to be embracing, doesn't appear to be making up the difference in revenue.