Music Metadata Event Set for May 6

May 1, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) — formerly the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) and DigitalMusic.org — is bringing back its successful Music Metadata Summit May 6, as part of the Music Biz 2014 confab.

Last year’s summit drew more than 250 music industry executives, all discussing the digital data issues facing the music industry, and more are expected this year. To register, or for more information, click here.

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Cable Show Keynote: Content is ‘Essential’

April 30, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Michael Powell, president and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), used his opening keynote at the annual The Cable Show in Los Angeles to tout how far the Internet has come. But with the FCC currently debating new net neutrality regulations, Powell cautioned against too much government regulation of the Internet.

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Akamai Shares Internet Concerns … and Optimism

April 24, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Hans Cathcart, senior enterprise security architect for Akamai, had a funny story to share during this week’s Hollywood IT Summit. A family member, seeking help to access a sensitive account, actually called the first Internet search result he found for “Google tech support.” Before handing over any personal information, the family member — wisely — called Cathcart, who set him straight.

The story was funny. The implications are no laughing matter.

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Hollywood IT Summit Keynote: A Method to Facebook’s Acquisition Madness

April 23, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

When Facebook closed its mobile division late last year, it was because mobile was no longer a niche part of the company’s business, according to Cory Ondrejka, VP of mobile engineering for the company. “Anything that is more than half of your business can’t be a specialized section in the corner,” he said April 22, speaking during a keynote presentation at the Hollywood IT Summit. “We view it as the most important project we can take on: How do we connect more people? Smartphones are the answer.”

By 2017 an estimated 5 billion people will be using smartphones, according to Statista.

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CIO Panel Discusses Tech Challenges at HITS Summit

April 22, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

TV used to be a pretty easy technology frontier for content creators. Create the content, broadcast it, and you were done. Alex Grimwade, SVP of TV production information technology at 20th Century Fox Television, isn’t pining for the good old days, but she is stressing how technology has put stress on TV content creators and distributors, creating a “sheer workload” that has to cover online, broadcast, cable and over the top distribution, for more screens every day.

“The shift hasn’t moved away from home entertainment, but the definition of home entertainment has changed,” she said April 22, speaking at the Hollywood IT Summit. “Day and date wasn’t something we were used to in television.”

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Studio CTO, CIO Panels Highlight Hollywood IT Summit

April 15, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

A keynote conversation with professor Jonathan Taplin, director of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab, is just one highlight of the Hollywood IT Summit, coming up April 22 in Los Angeles.

Tackling hardware and software platforms, big data and data analytics, vendor management, network connectivity, software as a service (SaaS) and more, Hollywood IT Summit panelists include the top chief information officers and chief technology officers from the major Hollywood studios.

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FCC Chairman: Broadcast Needs to Catch Up

April 9, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 
By Chris Tribbey

A day after slamming the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] for treating the broadband industry as more important than broadcast, Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, extended an olive branch of sorts April 8 to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler.

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NAB President: Future of Broadcast, Broadband a ‘Game Changer’

April 8, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith called on broadband companies and broadcasters to work more closely together, and chastised the federal government for treating broadcasters like “dinosaurs,” during his keynote address April 7 on the opening day of the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show.

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Content Rules at NAB

April 3, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

More than 93,000 attendees and more than 1,500 exhibitors will be attending the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show next week in Las Vegas, and every one will have one thing on their minds: content.

Centered around the development, management and delivery of content across every medium, the keynote speakers and panels at NAB have a constant theme of delivering content beyond traditional broadcasting, and monetizing that content across every device.

“Consumers expect the content they consume to be delivered in crisp, rich resolution, regardless of device,” said Chris Brown, EVP for conventions and business operations for NAB. “The advent of new standards bring new challenges: capturing 4K-quality content, editing and archiving resource-intensive footage, and distributing a final product across mediums.”

Among the notable panels and NAB exhibitor news…

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AACS LA Marks Legal Victory vs. SlySoft

April 2, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

In February the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) — the industry consortium that licenses copy protection used on Blu-ray Discs — won a legal judgment against a long-time foe.

On Feb. 21, a court in St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda, found Giancarlo Bettini, owner and founder of DRM-circumvention software company SlySoft, guilty of violating the nation’s copyright law.

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Archivists, Preservationists Talk Metadata

March 31, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Linda Tadic, executive director of the Audiovisual Archive Network, a nonprofit digital preservation service, doesn’t see the various standards for metadata collection as a problem in and of itself. It’s that those standards don’t talk to each other, she said March 25, speaking at the Metadata Madness event.

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Rovi VP Explores Advancement of TV Metadata

March 27, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

When TV first came out in the 1950s, so too did TV Guide. And thus began the evolution of TV discovery metadata.

“If you think about TV Guide from that good old magazine to a totally digital experience, that’s an example of the evolution of metadata,” said David Yon, VP of data solutions for Rovi Corp., speaking at the recent Metadata Madness event, created by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

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Experts Tackle Metadata Madness

March 26, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

LOS ANGELES — Last December in Tampa, Fla., families waiting to watch Disney’s PG animation Frozen were reportedly shown a trailer for the NC-17-rated film Nymphomaniac.

That’s a disaster for everyone involved, from filmmaker to distributor. And it’s something that probably could have been avoided with better metadata, according to Craig Seidel, VP of distribution technology for studio-funded tech research company MovieLabs.

“The system, the process for dealing with metadata, wasn’t there,” said Seidel, speaking March 25 at the inaugural Metadata Madness conference. “The [projectionist], who’s probably 19, looking at it, didn’t have the information in front of him.”

Seidel — who’s been working with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, the Entertainment Merchants Association and other groups on establishing metadata standards for digital content — was one of more than two dozen metadata experts who tackled what’s become both an opportunity and a problem for the entertainment industry.

Better metadata means better marketing opportunities, speakers agreed. It also means a major investment in resources.

The concept of comprehensive metadata for entertainment content seems simple, yet the execution is difficult, Metadata Madness speakers agreed. Offering every bit of information for every piece of content sounds great in concept. But who’s responsible for adding that data? The production team? The distributor?

“When we look at what it means to be a data-driven studio, it’s looking at data during the entire lifecycle [of content],” said J.R. Yasgur, SVP of global data strategy and operations for Sony Pictures Entertainment. That means keeping metadata in mind from the moment a project gets the green light to years after it’s lived out its initial home entertainment life, she said.

But that may not be possible, according to Alex Grimwade, SVP of TV production information technology for 20th Century Fox Television.

“There’s little effort put into metadata during production [of content],” he said. So much initial effort — both traditionally and today — is put into getting content out the door, that adding metadata detail of the content isn’t on the radar. And while locking down metadata during production is akin to hitting “a moving target,” that needs to change, Grimwade said: “We need to capture information at the front door.”

“You can’t collect enough metadata,” agreed Todd Burke, principal solutions engineer for Adobe. “And you never know how you’re going to use it.”

Don Dulchinos, executive director of the Entertainment Identifier Registry (the nonprofit industry group tasked with assigning unique, digital IDs for movies and TV programs) noted that part of the difficulty in locking down relevant metadata is the constantly changing landscape of distribution. Because there isn’t a universal standard, it’s hard for stakeholders to know what — and when — metadata should be addressed.

With or without an industry standard on what to do with content information and how to share it, MovieLabs’ Seidel has a simple suggestion for content owners: address every data possibility early on with every project, despite the hassle.

“Metadata is the silent piece that hides behind [content],” Seidel said. “[Metadata results in] better marketing by knowing what’s in a media file.”

As serious as metadata may be for the future of the media and entertainment industry, the Metadata Madness event struck a light-hearted tone, centered around a March Madness college basketball theme. Presenters were introduced as coaches, panelists as players. Every presentation (“Technical Time-Outs,” One-on-Ones,” “Nothing but Net”) had an NCAA theme. Each speaker was given a Gatorade bottle instead of a glass of water.

Guy Finley, executive director of MESA, opened the conference singing the “The Star-Spangled Banner” (with attendees dutifully standing up and joining in). Whistles were blown and buzzers sounded when a panel’s time was up. During the “halftime” break, a basketball-shooting contest was held, and Hollywood’s best and brightest were encouraged to grab a pretzel and a beer.

Metadata Madness Kicks Off Tomorrow

March 24, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Representatives from Hollywood’s biggest studios and every major industry coalition will be in one spot March 25, tackling one of the media and entertainment industry’s newest challenges: metadata.

Beginning at 1 p.m. at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, the one-day Metadata Madness event brings together the top experts in the entertainment metadata world.

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The TV Hardware Industry: The Good, the Bad and the UHD

March 13, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

It’s been a mixed week of news for the TV hardware industry.

First, the good: new data from firm Leichtman Research Group has 77% of American households with at least one HDTVs, 46% with multiple HDTV sets. That’s up sharply from 2008 (34% and 11%, respectively.

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Adstream: Helping Clients Adapt to Digital Challenges

March 11, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Founded in 2001, Adstream has maintained a single-minded focus on developing and delivering solutions and services that help streamline the media delivery process.

Over the past five years the London-based company has seen demand for its services increase exponentially. Adstream now delivers millions of assets to 40,000 media owners in over 110 countries for more than 5,000 clients. Most recently, Adstream has seen demand for its services growing amongst the major Hollywood studios and duly responded by opening an office in Los Angeles in December last year.

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Nielsen Report: TV, Online Ad Convergence Coming Slowly

March 7, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

With more consumers watching more video online, Nielsen brought together executives across the TV and online video industries and asked the question: how quickly will the industry see total convergence of TV and online advertising?

The answer: Not right away.

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Rovi CFO Discusses Company Revamp

March 6, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

During the two years Peter Halt has been chief financial officer for Rovi Corp., he’s seen the company divest assets, take on companywide reorganization, and undergo a major portfolio overhaul.

All the changes have made Rovi a better company, and a better bet for investors, Halt said March 5, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. “It’s been a very busy two years,” he said. “We inherited a company that, candidly, needed to get its focus back. We had gotten into some businesses that were outside of our core DNA.”

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EVS: Best Known for Sports, But Proving a Digital Powerhouse for TV Production

March 5, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Live production workflow for NBC Olympics’ 2014 Olympic winter games in Sochi, Russia? 4K Ultra HD zooming and live production capabilities for Fox Sports’ Super Bowl 2014 broadcast? Transcoding, archiving, multi-camera control of clips and playlist management for the World Series?

Say hello to Belgium-based EVS Broadcast Equipment.

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Warner, Disney, Fox, Sony Pictures, ITV & BBC all to participate at HITS Europe

March 4, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

Following the announcement of HITS Europe the response from the content community has been overwhelming. Four of the world’s leading studio groups and two of Europe’s largest broadcasters have already signed up to participate in the event, with more expected to join later this week. Confirmation is also awaited from a number of independent video groups and participants from the music and games industries.

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Analysts Mostly Optimistic on Redbox’s Future

March 3, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

At its recent analysts day, executives with Redbox and parent company Outerwall shared that despite having a 50% market share in the physical disc rental market, and despite being nearly built-out with kiosks in the United States, there’s still room for the rental company to grow.

Eric Wold, analyst with B. Riley & Co., said he believes that growth will have to come with an inevitable price increase.

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Metadata Madness Event Set for March 25

February 28, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Basketball, drinks and … Metadata? That’s the plan March 25 in Los Angeles, when the Media and Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) partners with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) to put on the one-day Metadata Madness event.

Dedicated to the ever-changing effort of defining and aligning the fields of data, which helps automate creative, production, distribution and business processes for the digital entertainment age, the event will bring together the top experts in the entertainment metadata world.

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AllDigital: Keeping Broadcast Content Constant

February 27, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Since its inception in 2009, Irvine, Calif.-based AllDigital has had one overriding goal: allow broadcasters to move content between all devices.

And today it’s about enabling broadcasters to do that almost instantaneously, according to Tim Napoleon, co-founder and president of media services for AllDigital.

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ContentBridge Takes on Amplify’s Digital Supply Chain Duties

February 26, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

In mid-January, Los Angeles-based digital distributor GoDigital and New York-based theatrical distributor Variance Films announced they had merged under the brand name Amplify.

Amplify’s stated goal: offer a unique, all-rights film distribution company, releasing up to 10 films a year, across every platform, with windowing (day and date, early digital, traditional, etc.) determined on a film-by-film basis.

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Rovi Beefs Up Discovery Technology with Veveo Acquisition

February 25, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Rovi Corp. will pay $62 million in cash for Andover, Mass.-based Veveo, giving Rovi an intellectual property portfolio centered around personalization and contextual search tools for video content.

Rovi will combine Veveo’s technology with its own search and recommendation engine and metadata to improve its advertising and analytics offerings for multi-system operators, device manufacturers and social media companies.

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Security Experts Talk Need for ‘Culture’ Change

February 21, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

Ralph Echemendia, founder and CEO of RED-E Digital and a professional hacker-for-hire, at one point didn’t even need to hack a major content industry company to raise some serious security concerns.

All it took was a phone call.

Echemendia’s team placed an anonymous call (“using a Darth Vader voice”) to the company’s CEO, relayed personal information they found in the trash, and simply said that the company had been hacked. The CEO responded by running to the server room, and shutting the company down for 24 hours….

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Technicolor CEO: 2013 A ‘Banner’ Year

February 20, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Technicolor CEO Fred Rose may be looking back at 2013, but while doing it he sees a bright future for the Paris-based company.

While discussing his company’s fiscal results Feb. 19, Rose pointed out a number of positives for the company last year.

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Sony Reports PS4 Sales Ahead of Japan Launch

February 18, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Sony Corp. Feb. 18 announced it has now sold more than 5.3 million PlayStation 4 consoles, and the console has yet to debut in Japan (Feb. 22).

Meanwhile, sales of competitor Xbox One from Microsoft were at approximately 3 million at the end of 2013, and while Microsoft hasn’t released official numbers for January, several reports peg worldwide sales for the Xbox One last month at about 600,000.

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PwC: ‘Megadeals’ Up Value of Entertainment, Media, Communications Transactions

February 17, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

The Comcast-Time Warner Cable “megadeal” announced last week is part of an ongoing trend with entertainment, media and communications engaging in “megadeals” more frequently, according to a new report from Price WaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

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Rovi CEO: Our Focus Has Changed

February 13, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Tom Carson, CEO and president of Rovi Corp., was both optimistic and blunt regarding the future of his company Feb. 12.

“We are disposing of the businesses that do not fit strategically in [our] operations, that do not have the financial profile that we want,” he said during a financial call with investors, discussing Rovi’s fourth quarter 2013 results. “We know who we are and what we’re good at: discovery products [for] businesses. That’s where our focus will be.”

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CDSA Taps Richard Atkinson as New Chairman

February 12, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

The Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) Board of Directors has elected Adobe’s Richard Atkinson as its new chairman.

Atkinson, the global director of piracy conversion for Adobe, takes over for Microsoft’s James Dunkelberger, who led the organization the past two years. “To me, CDSA is one of the few associations that stitches together the entire entertainment and software industry, from movies and TV, to games, to music, to software,” Atkinson said.

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PwC: M&E CEOs Confronting Change

February 11, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Cindy McKenzie, managing director of media and communications for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), had a sit-down with a studio executive Feb. 10, and was told about a potential problem. A relatively new one.

It had nothing to do with theatrical piracy or the decline of disc sales. Instead it was a source of content studio executives might have scoffed at just a few years ago.

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Netflix, Amazon, Redbox All Mull Price Hikes

February 7, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Netflix has been down this road before. And the company is praying this time will be different.

Following its ill-fated attempt in mid-2011 to split off its streaming and DVD-by-mail businesses — charging $7.99 for each — Netflix witnessed a subscriber revolt, losing more than 800,000 in just three months.

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Analyst, Retailer Back CEA UHD Report

February 6, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

When it comes to Ultra-HD TVs, seeing is believing, according to a new survey from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The more opportunities consumers have to see these new 4K-resolution Ultra-HD (UHD) TVs, the better chance of success the format has, according to CEA, the group responsible for the annual International Consumer Electronics Show.

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Warner Hits Revenue High

February 5, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Time Warner enjoyed its best quarter ever in terms of revenue, bringing in $8.6 billion in the fourth quarter, up 5% from the previous year. The company did see its quarterly profit down, though, reporting income of $983 million, down from $1.11 billion.

“We had another very successful year in 2013, with Turner, HBO and Warner Bros. all posting record profits while also investing for future growth,” said company CEO Jeff Bewkes. “Adult Swim had the most-watched year in its history and ranked No. 1 on ad-supported cable among adults 18-34 in total day for the ninth year in a row.

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Adobe: Gaming Consoles Fastest Growing for Video Consumption

February 4, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Gaming consoles have become the fastest growing video consumption device with 365% year over year growth, according to a Feb. 4 report from Adobe.

Smartphones are growing faster than tablets when it comes to TV Everywhere and premium video consumption on second screens, gaining 3% market share in the fourth quarter to 31%, and viewing on Android devices is up more than double year over year.

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Net Neutrality Debate Heats Up

February 3, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

In the past week a petition with more than a million signatures was delivered to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to restore Net Neutrality; the FCC chairman vowed to make it a priority; and President Obama weighed in on the issue.

“Just two weeks after a federal court threw out the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules, we delivered petitions from more than 1 million people who support the freedom to connect and communicate online,” said Josh Levy, Internet campaign director for Free Press. “It’s time for the agency to correct its past mistakes, reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, and restore Net Neutrality for good.”

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LA Film Czar and Anti-Piracy Spokesman Tom Sherak Dies

January 31, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Less than two months before passing away at the age of 68, film producer Tom Sherak told a gathering at the Content Delivery & Security Association’s (CDSA) Content Protection Summit that as “film czar” for the city of Los Angeles, he would take on runaway production costs for films and TV shows made there.

But he also had his eye on another problem facing the industry.

“I actually see piracy as a much bigger issue,” said Sherak at the Dec. 12 event.

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MPEG LA: Proposed HEVC Licensing Terms Benefit Everyone

January 30, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Since June 2012, patent packaging group MPEG LA has been working on establishing a pool license for the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. With 25 companies agreeing on licensing terms this month — and a proposed HEVC license expected during the first half of 2014 — MPEG LA has made serious headway…

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ITA Revamps Mission, Partners with MESA

January 29, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

When the Interactive Television Alliance (ITA) first launched in 2002, Google wasn’t in the TV business, Netflix was still an unprofitable DVD-by-mail business, OTT services like Hulu didn’t exist, and the idea of “second screen” interaction with a mobile device was an unknown concept.

Times have changed, drastically. And the ITA has changed with it.

“We’ve always represented the larger ecosystem, and have been project based,” said ITA group CEO Allison Dollar. “What’s different now is that the industry finally has the infrastructure to create stable business models.  One-off experiments don’t work long term. Models have to be scalable. They have to be replicable.”

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E&Y Report Tackles Digital Challenges

January 28, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

A new report from Ernst & Young surveyed executives at more than 550 companies, analyzed secondary reports, includes nearly a dozen case studies, and comes up with one undeniable conclusion: media and entertainment companies are finally gotten fully behind digital.

“For a long time people out there have doubted whether the large media and entertainment companies are as agile as they need to be, as competitive as they need to be, in the digital space,” said Howard Bass, partner with Ernst & Young, which released the report “Sustaining Digital Leadership” Jan. 28.

Click here to read the full article…

Dolby CEO Strikes Positive Tone, Despite Revenue, Profit Drops

January 24, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Both revenues and profit for Dolby Labs were down for its first fiscal quarter of 2014, but that didn’t prevent the company from sounding a positive note with its results.

Revenue for the quarter was $231.3 million (down from $236.6 million), with the company posting a profit of $60.6 million (down from $66.4 million). Licensing revenue accounting for $205.7 million. Broadcast revenue accounted for 36% of total licensing in the quarter, PC revenues accounted for 21%, consumer electronics accounted for 19% and mobile revenues accounted for 15%. Gaming and automotive — among others — accounted for approximately 9% of total licensing.

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Dolby CEO Strikes Positive Tone, Despite Revenue, Profit Drops

January 24, 2014 · Posted in M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Both revenues and profit for Dolby Labs were down for its first fiscal quarter of 2014, but that didn’t prevent the company from sounding a positive note with its results.

Revenue for the quarter was $231.3 million (down from $236.6 million), with the company posting a profit of $60.6 million (down from $66.4 million). Licensing revenue accounting for $205.7 million. Broadcast revenue accounted for 36% of total licensing in the quarter, PC revenues accounted for 21%, consumer electronics accounted for 19% and mobile revenues accounted for 15%. Gaming and automotive — among others — accounted for approximately 9% of total licensing.

“I’m pleased with the continued growth in our mobile and broadcast businesses,” said Dolby CEO Kevin Yeaman, speaking during a conference call with investors. “We have made progress in bringing new technology to the market, including our enhanced imaging technologies and Dolby Voice.”

Mobile revenues were up 40% year over year, and Dolby technologies are now used by five of the seven most-used over-the-top services in the U.S., he added. In Japan, Amazon Instant Video has begun streaming using Dolby technology to the Kindle Fire HDX, HBO Go is now using Dolby in the Nordics.

“Currently, nearly all of the Hollywood studios participating in UltraViolet are using Dolby Digital Plus.,” he added.

Regarding broadcast, Yeaman said 52 of 86 high-def channels in China and 18 of 32 high-def channels in India are using Dolby’s audio format. For cinema, approximately 330 screens worldwide are using Dolby Atmos audio, with more than 100 titles released or announced using the audio technology.

During this month’s International Consumer Electronics Show, Dolby showed off its Dolby Vision technology, an end-to-end video technology that promises better color and brighter highlights, with Sharp and TCL integrating Dolby Vision in their TVs this year.

“Also at CES, nine TV manufacturers, including Sharp, Vizio and Changhong, showcased TVs with Dolby glasses-free 3D technology,” Yeaman said. “We expect to see TVs shipping by the end of 2014 with this technology.”

Netflix Talks 4K, Net Neutrality, HBO Go

January 23, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

While discussing the company’s better-than-expected fourth quarter financial results, Netflix executives also shared their thoughts on the future of 4K, what the net neutrality ruling means for the company, and took a dig at competitor HBO and its HBO Go TV Everywhere offering.

The company posted a quarterly profit of $48 million on revenue of $1.18 billion, compared to $8 million in profit and $945 million in revenue during the same quarter in 2012.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings called it a “great start for the year” and that “we are excited about what’s unfolding.”

Click here to read the full story…

IBM Profit Rises; Lenovo Reportedly Eyeing IBM Server Business

January 22, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

IBM reported a profit of $6.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2013, up 6% year over year, on revenue of $27.7 billion, down 5%, with better revenues coming from the company’s software business segment, but also with hardware revenues down sharply.

Reports also surfaced that Chinese multinational technology company Lenovo is in talks to buy IBM’s server business, which was among the hardest hit in the fourth quarter financial report.

While revenues from IBM’s middleware products (WebSphere, Information Management, Tivoli, Social Workforce Solutions and Rational) was up 5% to $5.8 billion, IBM’s mainframe server products revenue was down 37%.

Click here to read the full story…

IBM Profit Rises; Lenovo Reportedly Eyeing IBM Server Business

January 22, 2014 · Posted in M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

IBM reported a profit of $6.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2013, up 6% year over year, on revenue of $27.7 billion, down 5%, with better revenues coming from the company’s software business segment, but also with hardware revenues down sharply.

Reports also surfaced that Chinese multinational technology company Lenovo is in talks to buy IBM’s server business, which was among the hardest hit in the fourth quarter financial report.

While revenues from IBM’s middleware products (WebSphere, Information Management, Tivoli, Social Workforce Solutions and Rational) was up 5% to $5.8 billion, IBM’s mainframe server products revenue was down 37%.

“In hardware, as you know, we went to the backend of the mainframe product cycle and we are dealing with some challenges in other areas,” said Martin Schroeter, IBM’s chief financial officer and SVP, during a conference call with investors. “IBM does have a resilient model based on continuous transformation and we are investing substantially in key opportunity areas.”

Recently, IBM has made major moves in the cloud-computing arena, announcing earlier this month a $1.2 billion investment to double its data centers, and for the quarter the company reported $4.4 billion of revenue for cloud solutions, up 69% year over year. “IBM will have cloud centers in every major geography and key financial center,” Schroeter added.

Still, the earnings report fell below analysts expectations, leading IBM CEO Ginni Rometty to forego her annual bonus.

Several news outlets said the sale of its hardware business would make sense, as the company focuses on its higher-margin software and services business.

“Over the years, it has been very clear to us that IBM has been divesting commodity parts of the portfolio to focus on higher value-add areas such as software, services, or next-generation computing, such as cognitive computing — for example, the Watson supercomputer,” Brian White, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, told The Street.

IBM earlier this month announced a $1 billion-plus investment to launch a new IBM Watson Group to create cognitive computing services, software and apps.

Verizon Reports Higher Earnings, Acquires Intel Media

January 21, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Verizon Communications Jan. 21 shared both higher earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter and the news it was acquiring Intel Media, Intel’s division dedicated to cloud TV products and services, including the OnCue cloud TV platform.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

OnCue was intended to be Intel’s answer to Netflix and other video services, but never got off the ground. Verizon intends to integrate Intel Media’s intellectual property into its own FiOS video service, promising better search and discovery, more interactivity and more second screen opportunities.

Click here to read the full story…

A Potential 4K Problem?

January 20, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

John Batter, CEO of M-Go, the transactional VOD content service backed by DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor, had every reason to smile at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Standing in front of a 4K TV at the sprawling Samsung booth, Batter showed off an upgraded, more user-friendly interface for M-Go, which had just announced a new 4K streaming service exclusively through Samsung.

“We think it’s really visually [unique],” he said of the 4K service, which will offer a combination of native 4K and up-scaled 4K movies, from Fox, Paramount and other studios. “Our plan is to build it up aggressively. We’ve got discussions going on with everyone right now.”

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BluFocus Takes on UltraViolet Verification Program

January 17, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Longtime Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) member BluFocus has just been tasked with managing all aspects of DECE’s Compliance Verification Program (CVP) for UltraViolet.

That means making sure every licensor with the cloud-based digital content service — content owners, retailers, download and streaming service providers and hardware companies — is in compliance with DECE’s mandatory requirements.

“We are very excited about this opportunity,” said Juan Reyes, chief technology officer for BluFocus. “We’ve been involved with DECE for quite some time around UltraViolet, and what this allows us to do is work very closely with all the licensees in helping them get through the CVP process in as painless a manner and as quickly as they possibly can, to ensure their implementations are compliant with the DECE specifications.”

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IHS: Digital Helped Home Entertainment in 2013

January 16, 2014 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

A second set of numbers analyzing the state of the home entertainment industry in 2013 has concluded the same thing: digital is helping to make up for the decline in disc sales.

The numbers from IHS Technology put home entertainment spending at $18.3 billion in 2013, a 1% growth year over year and up markedly from the $17.6 billion in spending in 2011.

Internet content sales ($1.3 billion) and Internet rentals ($600 million) saw the biggest jumps in revenue, 39% and 40%, respectively, and subscription VOD was up 31% to $3.1 billion.

Pay TV VOD saw minor growth at $1.48 billion, up from $1.47 billion in 2012.

Click here to read the full story…

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