Time Warner’s Start Over Service Performs Well in Early Test

Apr 10, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Early results from Time Warner’s new Start Over service, which allows viewers to restart a show from the beginning if they tune in during the middle are promising, said Peter Stern, executive VP of product management for Time Warner Cable, who spoke at a panel Sunday at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s National Show in Atlanta.

The technology is essentially an extension of video-on-demand and of digital video recorders and has been deployed in Time Warner’s Columbia, S.C., market since November, where 70 percent of the digital customers use it each month, on average about seven times, Mr. Stern said. For comparison, about 50 percent of digital customers across Time Warner’s entire footprint use VOD each month, on average about 30 times, he said.

For the Start Over service, Time Warner has inked deals with more than 61 channels to allow consumers to use the technology on their networks.

Since November, the Columbia market has logged more than 20 million minutes of Start Over viewership-both ads and programs, Mr. Stern said. What’s more, the average Start Over viewing time is 58 minutes, compared with average linear viewership of 20 minutes.

“They are tuning in for three times as long,” Mr. Stern said. “Start Over is a way of applying VOD to really enhance the linear experience.”

Each new service extends the total amount of time-shifting consumers do rather than cannibalizes it, he said. For instance, customers who use Start Over use their VOD and DVR service more, just as they used their DVRs more when Time Warner first introduced VOD. “Every service we launched grows the amount of time-shifting,” he said.