Time Warner provided a little more insight today into how it will use Flixster to fend off competition from Netflix. The movie-listing and info service that Time Warner bought earlier this month will provide a user-friendly interface for people who want to manage their home video collections in the digital cloud, the company’s CFO John Martin told an investor conference sponsored by Barclays Capital. Consumers will be able to “upload your existing physical DVDs, have the ability access them across multiple devices anywhere you want, have the ability to manage your collections with social aspects as well, go in, have friends see what movie collections they have, (and) see who has been watching those films,” he says. Martin called it “a very big idea” that Time Warner will describe more fully soon. The initiative comes as Martin says Warner Bros expects 2011 to be an “all-time record year.” But the big driver will be television, which accounts for “roughly half of the profits.” Although Warner Bros earns “in excess of our cost of capital in the film business,” television is “off the chart in terms of returns.” Broadcasters picked up 27 series from Warner Bros for this fall — including 12 new ones. The total is one more than last year and enables Warner Bros to boast that it’s still the No. 1 supplier of TV shows. Martin says that he, along with everybody else, is still waiting for the upfront ad sales market to break open. When it does, “all of the sign posts seem to indicate that the upfront is going to be extremely robust.”
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