By Colleen Quinn, Teradata Corporation
It was the pen-stroke heard around Hollywood. CBS and Time Warner had (finally) reached agreement about retransmission fees. Viewers from coast-to-coast exhaled a collective sigh of relief, and switched on Pro Football.
One term at issue? The big per-subscriber fee hike that CBS demanded, aiming to double their carriage fees over the 5-year term.Â While a huge boost in revenue is always worthwhile, CBSâ negotiations hinged on a term that is much more interesting. They wanted to retain streaming rights.
Hereâs why. Increasingly, streaming rights are the gateway to commanding your future. With them, content owners can seek the best opportunities to fully monetize content across every channel. But, more importantly, streaming rights often pave the way for content owners into the direct-to-consumer fray.
Digital distribution channels are the fastest growing segment of the M&E business, but they are creating new challenges for content owners and distributors with respect to marketing, delivery and analytics. On September 27th, the Hollywood IT Society and Variety are teaming up to tackle some of those challenges at the Digital Marketing and Analytics Summit at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.
The summit will feature a keynote interview with Michael Tritter, senior VP of interactive marketing for Warner Bros. Worldwide Marketing, conducted by Variety editor-in-chief for digital Andrew Wallenstein.
Tritter oversees interactive marketing for Warner Bros.â theatrical releases, including online creative, publicity, media, social media, mobile, and promotional applications and games. He has worked on various aspects of all of the studioâs online campaigns since he joined the company as part of the team that built some of the earliest film web sites in 1996. He and Wallenstein will discuss the growing complexity of movie marketing in a world of multi-platform distribution, shrinking windows and growing competition for consumers’ attention.
Other topics that will be covered at the day-long summit include engaging with digital consumers, using data to predict box office, scaling platforms for global distribution, digital asset management, advanced analytics and more.Â
Top-level speakers scheduled to appear at the summit include:Â
Bruce Bleasdale, Vice President, Technology Solutions Delivery, The Walt Disney Company
James Brennan, Executive Director, TV Marketing Business Development, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Jennifer Cooper, Director Media & Entertainment Strategy, Adobe
Jennifer Klawin, Director of West Coast Sales, Tumblr
Prof. Jonathan Taplin, Director, Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, USC
Tom Roach, Vice President, Worldwide Theatrical Distribution, Marketing and Production, Warner Bros.
James Brennan, Executive Director, TV Marketing Business Development, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Manish Jha, General Manager, Mobile, NFL
Alex Grossman, Vice President, Quantum , Big Data , Media And Entertainment , Quantum
Charles Matheson, Industry Strategist, Media & Entertainment, OpenText
Veda Narayanan, Director IT, Creative & Product Development Systems, Disney Technology Solutions & Services
Wesley Simpson, Vice President Media Asset Management, Turner Broadcasting Systems
Girish Bettadpur, Product Line Director, Akamai
Jamie Gallagher, Sales Consulting Manager, Value Chain Planning Applications, Oracle
Dominique Hanssens, Bud Knapp Professor of Marketing â UCLA Anderson
Richard Maraschi, Global Solutions Leader, Big Data & Analytics, IBM
Michael Crooks, Pracitce Executive, Social Enterprise, Industry Consulting Services, Communications, Media & Entertainment, HP Enterprise Services
Steven Worling, Senior Director, Information Technology, NASCAR
Girish Bettadpur, Product Line Director, Akamai
Tiran Dagan, IBM Global Business Services Strategy & Transformation Partner, IBM
Matt Corodimas, Senior Account Executive for Media & Entertainment, OpenText
Charles Matheson, Industry Strategist, Media & Entertainment, OpenText
Nicolas Beraudo, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales, General Manager US, AppAnnie
The full program is available here.
In an exclusive online press event today, the Hollywood Post AllianceÂŽ – the trade association for the post production community – announced the nominees for the craft categories of the 8th Annual HPA Awards in addition to winners of several special awards. The HPA Awards honor excellence in post-production while bringing recognition to the achievements of individuals and companies who are engaged in significant and revolutionary work in post-production. The HPA Awards will take place on the evening of November 7th at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
This yearâs awards garnered an unsurpassed number of entries in all categories. The nominees in the 12 craft categories were chosen from a field of talented and innovative entries in color grading, editing, sound, and visual effects for motion pictures, commercials and television.
It takes a lot of confidence in the online entertainment market to devote two years and $20 million (ÂŁ12.75 million) to the development of an end-to-end video platform for premium content. London-based Saffron Digital has done just that with Stage, which it describes as the industryâs first true end-to-end solution for premium OTT. It combines all the tools required to launch a multi-platform OTT entertainment service or UltraViolet storefront and is aimed at retailers, MSOs, TV broadcasters, mobile network operators and content owners that are seeking to launch new services or upgrade to the latest technology with the minimum of upfront investment.
Stage encompasses a suite of products that includes MainStage for the creation of OTT services, MainStage UV for the creation of an UltraViolet storefront and BackStage, a custom content-management system (CMS). StagePlay is a device player that uses Saffron Digitalâs own technology to control every key component of content delivery, ensuring the optimum user experience. StageCraft provides automated ingest, transcoding and encryption of content.
CEO Jason Keane told MESA Europe that Saffron Digital is in an intensely competitive market and the only way to compete was for the seven-year old company to take a step back and re-invest in technology and innovation. âWe have invested a significant amount of time and money over the last two years into building an end to end solution that is truly best in class. With our new Stage platform and a management team that has come from leading companies across the industry, we have the technology and experience to deliver at scale for the worldâs largest media companies. In 2011 we built a five year business plan to build a $100m company within five years and after stellar financial results in 2012 and the launch of Stage weâre well on track to becoming to reaching our goal,â he said.
Visitors to IBC 2013 can see the results for the first time on the Connected World stage and on the Saffron Digital stand 14.154 at the RAI centre in Amsterdam, from 12-17 September. There is a very special offer for any company booking an appointment before IBC begins. Saffron Digital will build a branded digital video application for each company that books a meeting in advance and mentions MESA Europe.
For more information click here.
Recent data released by the German home video industry body BVV show first half results reaching an all time high. Video turnover for Jan-June 2013 hit âŹ798M, surpassing previous highest first half results (âŹ751M in 2005) by some margin.
Sales of Blu-ray discs into the sell-through market grew by a massive 41% compared to the same period of 2012. Meanwhile total turnover in digital (sell-through and rental) expanded by almost 50% compared to 2012 first half, reaching âŹ77M.
âThe German video market is without doubt one of the strongest performing territories worldwideâ said David Millar, Communications Director at MESA Europe, âand the appetite that the German consumer consistently shows for new technologies makes this an exciting time to be talking about launching UltraViolet in the regionâ.
In order to support this launch leading executives from Germanyâs home video industry will participate in a panel at the Academy on UltraViolet in London on 11th September, reviewing the prospects for UltraViolet and analysing the key success factors in the fast growing German market.Â Confirmed panellists from the major studios are Andreas Bork, Head Of Digital & Online GSA of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Kai Marner, Marketing Director of Warner, and they will be joined by representatives from VOD providers; Hans Hanseleit, Managing Director of Videociety and Konrad Best, Director Offer & Content of MaxDome.
For further information on the event or to register, click here.
By Zane Vella, Founder and Chief Product Officer, Watchwith
Over the last decade a familiar battle cry of the digital media executive was âAnytime, Anywhere,â meaning the promise of digital for the consumer was to watch âwhat you want, when you want it.â And as we look around today, much of that future has arrived in the form of HBO Go, Netflix, Xbox, Xfinity â all popular on-demand services now available on tablets, phones, computers, game-consoles, Blu-ray Disc players, and connected TVs. So whatâs next?
As the MESA readership is well aware, much of the traditional entertainment distribution business is an analytic and strategic exercise in windowing and differentiation. In short, this means extracting greater return through enforced scarcity or by delivering added value through one or another distribution channels or partners. This article examines how and why time-based metadata is becoming a critical strategic asset for content owners, and how it enables new forms of windowing and differentiation across the digital distribution landscape.
By Tony Knight, Senior Product Manager, Rovi Corporation
The other day, I began to realize how much of the physical media that my generation took for granted would be completely absent from the lives of our children.Â My four-year-old daughter Izzy, who was born the year the iPhone was first introduced, already has far different expectations on how content is created, transmitted and consumed.Â For her, you never have to put anything in a machine to get something you want to come out on a screen.Â For decades, the act of taking a picture, listening to music, or watching a film required the movement of something physical into the apparatus of something mechanical.Â In the space of just a few short years, the relentless march of technology has separated content from the spinning gears they were previously bound to.
By Jeff Hyatt
The 2013 edition of the Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment Report has been released by Coughlin Associates. The ninth annual report provides 179 pages of in-depth analysis of the role of digital storage in all aspects of professional media and entertainment.
Projections out to 2018 of digital storage demand for content capture, post-production, content distribution and content archiving are provided in 59 tables and 88 figures.
The report includes results from a 2013 survey of SMPTE, HPA and Digital Production Buzz members on their digital storage needs in these target segments (comparing the results to similar 2009, 2010 and 2012 surveys).
These surveys were used to refine the current report analysis from previous editions and track industry trends. The report benefited from input from many experts in the industry, which along with economic analysis and industry publications and announcements, was used to create the data including in the report.
Some highlights from the report:
â˘ As image resolution and frame rates increases and as stereoscopic (and other multi-camera) video becomes more common, storage requirements explode.
â˘ Several petabytes of storage may be required for a complete stereoscopic digital movie project at 4K resolution, and there is some production work as high as 8K. Â Within 10 years we could see close to an Exabytes of content created in a single major movie project
â˘ The development of 4K TV and other high-resolution venues in the home and in mobile devices will drive the demand for digital content (especially enabled by high HEVC (H.265) compression.
â˘ Activity to create capture and display devices for 8K X 4K content is occurring with planned implementation in common media systems by the next decade
â˘ Flash memory appears to be reaching tipping point in professional video cameras with survey results showing about 59% utilization in 2013 (growing from 2009, 2010 and 2012 survey results). Â Flash memory is also playing a role in content distribution and post-production.
â˘ Total media and entertainment storage revenue will grow more than 1.9 X between 2013 and 2018 (from $6.2 B to $11.9 B)
The 2013 Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment Report is now available from Coughlin Associates. To get a copy send a completed order form in the report brochure at http://www.tomcoughlin.com/techpapers.htm.
By Robin Daniels, Head of Enterprise Product Marketing, Box
Although Silicon Valley and Hollywood are close geographically and are both working toward bringing transformative experiences (content and apps) to market, they are vastly different digitally and philosophically. Hollywoodâs success relies far more on the connections between individuals than market and technology strategies, rendering decision making complex â and the Valleyâs direct-to-consumer, âexecute without asking for permissionâ model doesnât quite match with Hollywoodâs âcollaborate with everyoneâ mentality. However, one technology that has taken hold and shaken up both Silicon Valley and Hollywood is the use of mobile devices in business.
Half of all devices sold this year will be non-Windows based. Apple alone has sold more than 172 million iPhones and iPads in the last year and its iPhone business alone generated more revenue than all of Microsoft. More computing power and connectivity is in more hands, and in more ways, than ever before.
In most cases, 70+ job openings at a sexy company which, with a few others, single-handedly helped redefine the Media and Entertainment landscape would be an indicator of growth. Not so in the case of Hulu.Â Iâd consider this more an indication of rudderlessness. Visionary CEO, Jason Kilar â my serious tech crush â has left the helm, along with many (if not most) of his right-hands. Hulu has been on-and-off the auction block for as long as anyone can remember.
Now, with a front-running bid on the table from DirecTV (along with a few other contenders) â and looming rumors that a deal will be done soon – it looks like Huluâs days as a platform for Disney, Fox and NBC are numbered.
Ah. What a difference a couple of years make– $1 billion to be exact.Â Thatâs the difference between the one-time price tag wooers were offering the OTT darling then and the rumored price on the table now.
Before you get your weekend started don’t forget that today is the final day for completing an online submission form in the creative categories for the 8th Annual HPA Awards.
The Creative Categories cover feature film, television and commercials and include Outstanding Color Grading, Editing and Sound, as well as an expanded Visual Effects category, which replaces the Compositing categories.
The HPA Awards will take place November 7, 2013 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The event honors excellence in Color Grading, Editing, Sound, Visual Effects and Engineering. In addition, these special awards will be handed out:
Âˇ HPA Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation in Post Production
Âˇ Charles S. Swartz Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Post Production
Âˇ Lifetime Achievement Award
The period of eligibility for the HPA Awards entries is Sept. 11, 2012 through Sept. 3, 2013.
Don’t miss your chance to put your work front and center for recognition by your peers.Â Where your work stands tall, stand up and stand out at the Post Production Industryâs most prestigious honors event.
Click HERE to enter now!
For complete information on the HPAÂŽ Awards and to submit your entry please visit www.hpaawards.net.
By Jeff Hyatt
Technicolor’s Connected Home Division has hired operations and supply chain veteran AmĂŠrico Silva as Vice President Americas, Supply Chain & Manufacturing.
In his new role, Silva will oversee the operations group for the Americas, and manage supply chain, in-house manufacturing and contract manufacturing activities in the Americas.
Silva officially joins the Technicolor Connected Home Division on July 15. Previously, Silva served as Sr. VP Worldwide Operations for Paramount Pictures, managing the worldwide supply chain operations of the Home Entertainment Division.
“I am extremely excited with the opportunity to join a company that is not only a leader in the market it serves but also an inventive and dynamic organization, with significant growth opportunities,” Silva said. “In a way, I feel that I continue as part of the entertainment industry, as the focus is on designing and supplying devices that will deliver entertainment and information to consumer homes.”
Latin America is an important focus for the Connected Home Division, with its own facility in Brazil and contract manufacturers currently located in Argentina, BrazilÂ and Mexico. Silva is already familiar with Brazil’s supply chain industry having worked as General Manager for Sony DADC Brazil where he managed the restructuring of the division’s manufacturing, distribution and sales operations in Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, Brazil.
Itâs getting down to the wire.
The Hollywood Post Alliance has announced several important deadlines are fast approaching to submit entries for the 8th Annual HPA Awards.
The final entry deadline for the Creative Categories is July 12.
The Creative Categories cover feature film, television and commercials and include Outstanding Color Grading, Editing and Sound, as well as an expanded Visual Effects category, which replaces the Compositing categories.
In addition to the Creative Categories, the final entry deadline for both the Engineering Excellence Award and the HPA Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation is July 3.
The Engineering Excellence Award raises the profile of breakthrough technologies within the industry, spotlighting those who bring technical and creative ingenuity to the real world of post-production.
The HPA Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation in Post Production was conceived to recognize companies and individuals who have made significant achievements and pushed the envelope forward in post production, whether in creative storytelling and/or technical innovation.
The period of eligibility for the HPA Awards entries is Sept. 11, 2012 through Sept. 3, 2013.
The HPA Awards will take place November 7, 2013 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
Click HERE to enter now!
For more information please visit www.hpaawards.net, or call 213.614.0860.
MESA Europe has today confirmed the appointment of David Millar to enhance the teamâs local activities.
David joins from Futuresource Consulting (previously Understanding and Solutions) where he steered much of the groupâs work across the storage media, electronics and entertainment content sectors.
âIn addition to excellent client management and networking skills, David brings a fluency in French, German and Italian, which will be a huge help as we strive to establish local groups throughout the leading European territoriesâ said Jim Bottoms, Executive Director of MESA Europe. âOur members have identified a need for local as well as regional support and our networking activities will reflect this moving forwardsâ
David has spoken at numerous events around the world and has been a regular contributor to the activities of a number of industry associations in the technology space.
âI am looking forward to making a major contribution to MESAâs planned growth, particularly in Continental Europeâ said David Millar âand to working with my colleagues to expand on the membership services and support we are able to offerâ.
Prior to joining Understanding and Solutions and Futuresource Consulting David and Jim worked together at Technology Consultants BIS.
MESA and Signiant are proud to present their upcoming webinar, âSecure File Sharing in the Cloud,â scheduled for Wednesday,Â June 12 at 11 a.m. PT/ 2 p.m. ET.
The free webcast will feature a panel of experts who will share real-world examples of how to identify and overcome key security challenges in the digital workflow.
The webinar will illustrate the unique challenges faced by our nationâs repository of content and how they are meeting the task of securely compiling, distributing and archiving this enormous amount of content, data and information.
Webinar Topics Include:
- The importance of actively managing content security in todayâs world;
- Challenges of sharing, controlling, and safeguarding digital content;
- Considerations when securing your content sharing architecture;
- How to safely and easily take advantage of the cloud to share your content.
MESA Executive Director Guy Finley will moderate the one-hour panel featuring Thomas Youkel, the Group Chief of Enterprise System Engineering at the Library of Congress, in a candid discussion with Steve Bono, CEO of Independent Security Evaluators and Signiantâs Chief Technology Officer, Ian Hamilton, on innovative approaches to managing large files utilizing secure media exchanges in private, public and hybrid cloud environments.
Testronic Supports Voluntary Industry Agreement to Improve Energy Consumption of Complex Set-Top Boxes in the EU
Testronic Labs – the global leader in quality assurance, compliance, and certification services for consumer electronics, film and television, games, and enterprise – has been commissioned to enable standards and reporting for the Voluntary Industry Agreement (VIA). VIA was designed to support the achievement of the EU Action Plan for Energy Efficiency and the reduction of the potential environmental impact of Complex Set-Top Boxes (CSTBs). Testronic is working closely with CSTB service providers, equipment manufacturers, software providers, and component manufactures to support the goals of the VIA and help companies adhere to the terms of the agreement. The objective of the VIA, and the intention of the agreement signatories, is to move the industry and the devices that are central to it, towards environmentally sound practices which will ultimately be beneficial to consumers and other end users.
The VIA reflects an industry-wide commitment to reducing the potential environmental impact of CSTBs. Major European DTV operators are among the many signatories drawn from the spectrum of the CSTB industry, committed to achieving rapid and effective implementation of the VIA, while continuing to invest in and develop âbest of classâ CSTB products. It was important to include every step of the DTV ecosystem in the discussion, as the design of set-top boxes and other devices, as well as middleware applications, are all crucial to the effort.
As part of the VIA, every signatory submits the results of a series of tests, which are audited and reported by the industry group. The audits and reports are the core of the self-regulation project, and drive ongoing improvements in environmentally friendly business practices and products. Testronic, based on their exemplary track record and knowledge of the industry, has been asked to execute industry audits, which was managed by the Independent inspector. Testronic is the only company that can support all signatories with testing services for the VIA.
Johan Craeybeckx, CTO of Testronic, stated, âWe have been happy to be involved with this project from the very early stages. It not only speaks to Testronicâs core capabilities, but it is the right thing to do. This VIA has put a strong foot forward to ensuring that the DTV industry is an environmentally friendly one. We are delighted to support these efforts and enjoy the opportunity to work with so many of our close colleagues at the many companies involved in the initiative.â
Following the successful initial releases of the exciting new audio format: High Fidelity Pure Audio in Paris last month, early reaction has been extremely positive. Universal, Dolby and QOL, the creators and driving forces behind this, have teamed up to create a collaborative industry group to drive this growing market.
âWe have been thrilled with the incredible buzz generated among consumers and retailers worldwide following our Pure Audio releasesâ said Olivier Robert Murphy, Global Head of New Business at Universal Music and Chairman of the High Fidelity Pure Audio group. âIâm seeing first-hand the excitement created across the whole music Industry sectors as well as among those involved in Blu-ray. Companies are now recognising the formatâs potential and the opportunity this represents.â
Jim Bottoms, who leads MESA Europe and has recently been appointed to spearhead the Blu-ray Disc Associationâs local and industryÂ activities, has been askedÂ to run the High Fidelity Pure Audio group and its marketing and promotional activity moving forward.
The launch event will take place in London on Thursday 20th June followed by a drinks reception.
Attendance isÂ strictly limited and by invitation only. Should you be interested in attending or require more details on the event please contact Jim Bottoms at MESA Europe via email: email@example.com
Aspera, Inc., creators of next-generation software technologies that move the worldâs data at maximum speed, will showcase a complete portfolio of high-speed data transfer software and automation solutions for the broadcast and media industries, and share its expertise in powering digital media workflows across any type of infrastructure at BroadcastAsia (booth #5G2-05). Asiaâs largest broadcast industry event takes place on June 18-21 at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
Cloud-based services have the ability to greatly speed production workflows, increase storage and computing capacity, foster collaboration and reduce infrastructure costs. As the leader in next-generation video and data transport technologies, Aspera has implemented advanced transport and workflow solutions for broadcasters and media companies throughout Asia such as, Amana Group, Arirang TV, Australian Broadcasting Company, Cinema Cloud, CJ PowerCast, Dubsat, Encompass Digital Media, Foxtel, MediaCorp, Phoenix TV and SBS. Asperaâs president, CEO and co-founder Michelle Munson, will share how companies are leveraging the cloudâs many benefits while using advanced technology to solve the technical bottlenecks that can slow its adoption.
- Wednesday June 19âMunson will present on sports broadcasting in the cloud, exploring how high-speed transport technologies can enable broadcasters to take advantage of the cloud for ingest, management, storage and distribution of digital content. Munson will also present a case study on the UEFA Euro 2012 soccer tournament, taking a close look at how the LIVEX On Demand service was used for cloud-based content contribution, publishing and distribution.
- Thursday June 20âMunson will participate in a power panel on âIs cloud broadcasting the future?â Alongside fellow panelists from Shanghai Media Group, Alcatel-Lucent and Shemaroo Entertainment, Munson will discuss issues such as the impact of cloud services on digital entertainment, barriers to rolling out cloud services for the broadcast industry, and strategies to enable the cloud for large-scale broadcast workflows.
At booth #5G2-05 Aspera will showcase the latest innovations in its comprehensive portfolio of high-speed file transfer and automation software that enable broadcasters and media enterprises to deploy on-premise, cloud-based or hybrid infrastructures for complex media workflows including:
Aspera Orchestrator â The Aspera file-based workflow automation platform has been enhanced with full failover support, integrated Active Directory and LDAP support, and multi-tenant capabilities. It also offers an expanded plug-in library for a host of leading transcoding, watermarking, quality control, antivirus, ad insertion, asset management and other solutions.
Aspera On Demand â The platform as a service (PaaS) enables media companies and content service providers to use high-speed faspâ˘ transport to ingest and distribute large files to and from the Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Windows Azure clouds, and integrate their platforms into media services running in the cloud.
Aspera faspexâ˘ and Aspera Shares â Web applications and mobile clients for fast, ad-hoc file exchange enable collaborative, person-to-person workflows spanning on-premise, cloud and hybrid deployments. The faspex and Shares solutions are uniquely designed to allow media files to be securely transferred between any storage locations (on premise or in cloud) on behalf of users or project groups with privacy, security and fine-grained access control. Aspera will demonstrate sending via faspex dropboxes to Aspera Shares destinations by workgroup, full SAML integration for single sign-on, and configurable distribution lists.
Aspera Sync â The high-performance (10-100X rsync), multidirectional file replication and synchronization solution for remote collaboration and disaster recovery scenarios offers full integration with Aspera Console for global visibility and control of sync sessions across the entire network, advanced file handling options such as file-level de-duplication eliminating unnecessary transfers and reducing storage use, and added support for OSX and Solaris in addition to Windows and Linux.
Aspera Drive - Aspera will preview high-speed synchronization from desktop to cloud with Aspera Drive. Completely integrated with the Aspera high-speed transfer platform, Aspera Drive offers integrated desktop and mobile browsing of remote files, drag-and-drop high-speed upload and download from cloud storage, background file synchronization, and sending and receiving of extremely large files and data sets at global distances for the ultimate secure file distribution experience.
faspex 4.0 â Aspera will preview faspex 4.0, a file sharing and package sending web application tier, which powers the Aspera Drive file-sharing ecosystem. A new project-based approach combines users and user groups with file and directory resources (âSharesâ) into project collaboration spaces.
Beta versions of Aspera Drive and faspex 4.0 are expected to be available in Summer 2013.
Join MESA and HITS for an insightful Think Tank discussion on June 18 at 4 p.m. at the Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel. The Think Tank, âFrom Frame to Finish: Whatâs Your Digital Content Management Study?â will delve into the evolution and impact of file-based workflows and how they are influencing Hollywood.
From the first frame shot to the global distribution of finished product, every studio is adopting ways to tag, manage and ultimately, monetize their content throughout their new digital supply chain â from production through long-tail distribution.
The Think Tank will be highlighted by a panel of studio experts representing the different pieces of the digital supply chain who are key decision-makers for the content strategy of their organizations.
Mary Yurkovic, Digital Asset Management Community Builder and M&E Industry Consultant, recognized a need in the home entertainment space to bring people together, and is working with MESA and HITS to help organize the event in the hopes of tackling some of the industryâs pressing issues with content strategy.
âThe Think Tank works because it gets some of the industryâs top visionary thought leaders together in a non-competitive environment to start to address the issues in the space, but also share some of the solutions that have been successful for them,â Yurkovic says.
The Burbank Think Tank is set for Tuesday, June 18 at 4 p.m. For more information, go to:
To register, go to: https://sferainteractive.wufoo.com/forms/hits-burbank-think-tank/
The Hollywood Post AllianceÂŽ announces the opening of the Call for Entries for the 8th Annual HPAÂŽ Awards, which will take place on the evening of November 7th, 2013 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. Considered the standard bearer for excellence and innovation, the HPAÂŽ Awards recognize the achievements of the individuals and companies that have contributed to groundbreaking technologies and creative excellence within the post production industry.
The HPA Awards invite entries in the following competitive categories:
- Outstanding Color Grading-Feature Film
- Outstanding Color Grading-Television
- Outstanding Color Grading-Commercial
- Outstanding Editing-Feature Film
- Outstanding Editing-Television
- Outstanding Editing-Commercial
- Outstanding Sound-Feature Film
- Outstanding Sound-Television
- Outstanding Sound-Commercial
- Outstanding Visual Effects-Feature Film
- Outstanding Visual Effects-Television
- Outstanding Visual Effects-Commercial
- Engineering Excellence Award
- HPA Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation in Post Production
The period of eligibility for the HPA Awards is September 11, 2012 through September 3, 2013. To be considered eligible, work must have debuted domestically and or internationally during this period. Entrants need not be members of the Hollywood Post Alliance or working in the U.S. to submit work for consideration. Lists of previous yearsâ winners can be found by visiting www.hpaawards.net.
A notable difference in the 2013 competition is expansion in the visual effects categories, which have become more encompassing, focused on a broader section of the visual effects pipeline.
Complete rules, guidelines and entry information are available at: www.hpaawards.net. Submissions for the creative categories will be accepted May 15, 2013 through July 12, 2013 and Early Bird Entries (reduced fee for the creative categories) will be accepted through June 14, 2013. Submissions for the Engineering Excellence Award and the Creativity and Innovation Award will be accepted May 15, 2013 through June 21, 2013. Entrants for the Engineering Excellence Award will be invited to present at a special HPA judging event in early August.
Contact Eileen Kramer at 213-614-0860 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for information about sponsorship opportunities for the 2013 HPA Awards show. For more information about the HPA Awards, visit www.hpaawards.net or call 213.614.0860.
Over 440 members of the entertainment IT community gathered last week for the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) annual meeting.Â The Hollywood IT Summit held at Pepperdine University in Malibu addressed key industry issues such as big data, cloud computing, mobile products strategy, production and distribution digital workflows, and the expanding ecosystem for metadata. Program highlights included all-star panels of movie industry Chief Information Officers (representing Fox, Warner, Lionsgate, CAA and RLJ Entertainment) and Chief Technology Officers (from Fox, Sony, Warner, Disney, and Dreamworks).
“The academic environment sparked a remarkable, creative AND collaborative spirit among the speakers and audience of esteemed qualified attendees.Â This is the type of technology community gathering that will truly have a lasting impact on our industry direction as we digitize all our enterprise, production and distribution processes,” says HITS Executive Director Devendra Mishra.
The conference program also featured presentations by solutions providers and their studio partners, including sessions by: Belkin, Savvis, Scenechronize, WatchDox ,Â Aspera, MarkLogic, OneScreen, Oracle, QlikView,Â Rackspace, Rovi and Sony Media Cloud Services.Â Additional sponsors of the Summit included HP, Information Builders, Signiant and Zaszou.
The Hollywood IT Summit is produced jointly by the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) and Variety magazine in collaboration with Pepperdine University.Â The next HITS conference is its 2nd Annual Digital Marketing & Analytics Summit, which is scheduled for September 27 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Hollywood IT Society facilitates discussions among information technology leaders in the movie industry, directed by an advisory board of representatives from all major studios and independents.Â With events and initiatives supported by over 40 solutions providers, HITS committees and workgroups focus on vital issues such as metadata, digital workflows, content management, security, business intelligence, and digital marketing and analytics.
HITS is managed by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), a consortium of industry associations and member companies involved in IT, digital supply chain, content security and 2nd screen.
For more information about the Society and its events visit:Â www.hollywoodITsociety.com
Last month CDSA had the pleasure of attending an Open House event thrown by Los Angeles Duplication & Broadcast (LADB) at their Burbank facility that is right across the street from Disney. It was a high-end affair with a tented red carpet entrance, exquisite hors dâoeuvres and a well-dressed army of servers and valets.
Eric Collins, LADBâs president and co-founder, was giving hands on demonstrations of their ultra-secure and monitored mobile delivery unit and their staff offered tours for VIPs of their first class facility that handles a multitude of âjust-in-timeâ services for their studio and broadcast clientele. Robert Seidenglanz, LADBâs co-founder, also took time to guide guests through their facility showcasing its expanded capacity due to an efficient workflow strategy that helps new and existing customers take advantage of their companywide customer service culture of being reliable, fast and cutting edge to deliver on just about any need proposed by a content creator or production unit.
It was a lovely evening but looking back on the event it is their business culture around quality and content security that keeps resonating. In the tented area outside of the front entrance their consultant on security, Tom Carlson, gave an overview presentation throughout the event on the strategy that he helped LADB create where a commitment to both quality work and security is a cornerstone to their value proposition to customers.
In addition to being a CDSA certified facility, LADB has dual ISO certifications (9001 and 27001) and an obvious strict adherence to the MPAAâs best practices for facilities working with their member companies. LADB is one of the only small companies committed to this comprehensive, 3-pronged security approach that have been validated by third party oversight. Whatâs so impressive is how the structured process created around these industry standards/initiatives drives their entire business from the drivers and front desk staff all the way up to the senior management team.
And, the idea that LADB understands the importance of risk and accept the stewardship role/responsibility against all risk threats with their customers content whether internal or external, deliberate or accidental demonstrates that LADB is a thought leader for smaller companies in the production chain.
What is also notable about their formal program and commitment around security is not only their internal practices on client satisfaction, quality management and education it is the idea that they have processes in place to continually improve both quality and security service delivery.
By having a mechanism for monitoring and measuring each internal department (IT, HR, Operations, Purchasing, Sales) activity with clientâs content, through both internal and external oversight and a commitment to change management, they are exemplary in approach with an eye to the future. This is critical for any business working in our industry â a commitment to continually evolve with the technologies that help the creative community make the best content in the most efficient and secure workflow possible.
For additional information on Los Angeles Duplication & Broadcast you can visit their website at http://www.ladb.com/
Testronic Labs, the global leader in quality assurance, localization, and certification services for consumer electronics, film and television, games, enterprise, and publishing, has been named an Authorized Test Center for the HTC Connectâ˘ testing and compliance program. HTC created the HTC Connect program to offer consumer electronics manufacturers the opportunity to create an improved sound and visual standard when connecting HTCÂŽ devices with their consumer electronics.
Successfully tested consumer electronics from HTC Connect participating manufacturers become eligible to display the HTC Connect logo. For the consumer, this logo will indicate that wireless audio and video may be sent through their HTC smartphones to in-home and in-car electronics displaying the logo.Â Testronic is the first testing center in Europe to become certified by HTC for this program.
Johan Craeybeckx, CTO of Testronic, stated, âAt Testronic, we are fully engaged in supporting the evolution of the consumer experience, as it changes and expands. Smartphones are changing the way end-users experience entertainment content, and they can now enjoy rich-media content in almost any environment.Â We are delighted to work with our colleagues at HTC in verifying that high levels of connectivity standards are being met with their products.â
Nicklas Jonsson, vice president, global partner management at HTC, commented, âOur vision is for our customers to easily stream their favorite high-quality video and audio from their smartphone into their home or car. The HTC Connect program builds upon our innovation in smartphones with leading consumer electronics brands. We rely upon our authorized test centers, like Testronic, to help us maintain an outstanding level of quality, integration and performance.â
Testronicâs HTC Connect testing and compliance operations will be headquartered out of their Belgium facility.
Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival Picks Signiant Media Shuttle File Sharing Solution for Accelerated Delivery of Full-Length HD Film Submissions
Signiant, the market leader in intelligent file movement software for media and entertainment, today announced that the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, which celebrates the worldâs best mountain and adventure themed films and books, has standardized on Signiantâs Media Shuttle file sharing solution for digital film submission and distribution at its annual festival and world tour. Requiring fast, reliable delivery of massive HD files with security, acceleration and tracking, the Festival selected Media Shuttle to easily upload, download and transfer large files from a shared file system, providing significant time and cost savings for festival organizers and contributors.
A flagship program of The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival is a nine-day event that continues throughout the year as an international film tour featuring about 740 film screenings across every continent, including Antarctica. Banff will rely on Media Shuttle to receive more than 300 film entries from filmmakers worldwide, as well as promotional content from partners to be used throughout the Festival program.
Media Shuttle defines a new class of file sharing solutions tuned for the movement of large files â high-value digital assets that are tens or hundreds of gigabytes in size â and provides simple interfaces delivered from the cloud, enterprise-class security, acceleration and storage control.Â Media Shuttle portals can be quickly configured in one of three modes â Send, Share or Submit â to flexibly support the needs of any project, team or media enterprise in a single, multi-purpose solution. By combining the best attributes of online file sharing and accelerated file transfer software, Media Shuttle offers a viable, next-generation alternative to FTP servers.
âWe have filmmakers in far-flung locales around the world submitting content on-the-fly, and we need to make the submission process as easy as possible for them. Past delivery solutions could not support the file size and transfer speeds required to deliver films of this complexity and quality,â said Woody MacPhail, Producer of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival and World Tour at The Banff Centre. âWith Media Shuttle, weâre able to transfer large files quickly in any form, access them anywhere and not limit the type of content received. Â We want our filmmakers focused on creating their content, and not file delivery. Media Shuttle lets them really embrace the lifestyle they are filming â last-minute deadlines, living in the instant, capturing the moment.â
Following the Festival, Media Shuttle will be used to distribute files to broadcast partners such as National Geographic, and to support the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, which screens films in approximately 40 countries around the world.Â Many locations receive unique master file uploads â typically a terabyte of HD film â often with regional dialect.
âThe host organization in each tour location chooses a program that reflects the interests of their local audiences and exchanging digital assets of this size, frequency and specification can be complex,â added MacPhail. âWe needed a delivery solution that is reliable and effortless for our host organizations. Media Shuttle gives us the flexibility to work with a wide range of global partners regardless of those elements.â
The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival will be held October 26 to November 3, 2013.Â It is accepting film submissions from May 7 through August 6, 2013.
SMPTE and Stanford Center for Image Systems Engineering to Coproduce âEntertainment Technology in the Internet Ageâ Conference
TheÂ Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, today announced that it is working with the Stanford Center for Image Systems Engineering (SCIEN) to produce the two-day conference âEntertainment Technology in the Internet Ageâ (ETIA). Beginning June 18 at Stanford Universityâs Palo Alto, Calif., campus, the conference will explore the technology, creative, and business requirements for delivering a compelling, high-quality, monetizable entertainment experience over the Web.
âEntertainment technology development and content deployment has historically been the purview of Hollywood and traditional broadcast media,â said ETIA conference chair Patrick Griffis, executive director of technology strategy at Dolby Laboratories and SMPTE education vice president. âHowever, the rapid convergence of technology; improvements in connectivity, bandwidth, and media processing; coupled with consumer interest, is causing a surge in entertainment distribution via the Internet.â
âETIA will bring together leaders and innovators from Hollywood and Silicon Valley communities to discuss how the Internet is changing the way we create, deliver, enjoy, and pay for entertainment,â added Joyce Farrell, executive director of SCIEN and ETIA conference chair.
Through a series of panel discussions and presentations, with ample opportunity for audience participation, the ETIA conference will examine topics within the areas of Internet-focused content creation, distribution, and monetization, as well as technical tools and solutions for shaping the user experience. Among the presentations planned is âFlash Forward â How HTML-5 and Canvas Will Become the Next Interactive Screen for Web Media,â a panel discussion by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and media technology experts on the future of UI technology, as well as several sessions examining the standards and formats â SMPTE Interoperable Master Format (IMF), HLS, and MPEG-DASH â being used to facilitate content distribution and optimization of content quality.
âWhere Are the Eyeballs?â will look at consumersâ shift from subscription pay services to Web services, and a subsequent session will examine the role of new analytics technology in illuminating consumer behavior. Related sessions will examine techniques for incorporating advertising into Internet content and delve into how second screens, such as PCs and tablets, are being used to complement the main-screen viewing experience.
As Internet distribution becomes more ubiquitous, many of the regulatory requirements that traditional content providers have incorporated, such as closed captioning, will be a reality for Internet distributed content as well. The regulatory environment in Washington, D.C., will also be discussed along with the solutions that have been given safe harbor status by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The highly charged topic of commercial content protection will also be addressed from the political, business, and technical challenges perspective.
Held in the CEMEX auditorium in the Knight Management Center in Stanford Graduate School of Business, the ETIA will give delegates ample time to engage with speakers and one another as they discuss topics of the day with a common interest in entertainment technology.
Discounted early-bird rates apply to those registering by April 1. Further information about the ETIA conference, including a full schedule and registration information, is available online at www.smpte.org/ETIA2013.
Long-time industry analyst, Jim Bottoms, has been appointed to spearhead Blu-ray Disc Associationâs local and industry activities throughout Europe.Â Bottoms, who also serves as the Executive Director for MESA (Media and Entertainment Services Alliance) Europe, will work with both industry groups to drive synergies and help continue the positive outlook for Blu-ray disc and other physical and digital entertainment platforms.
Formerly with Futuresource Consulting, Bottoms has been a frequent commentator on regional and global market trends in the home entertainment and technology industries. More recently Bottoms has turned his focus towards playing a âhands onâ role in supporting the home entertainment industry and is driving greater co-operation in order to ensure common goals are met.
âThere are a lot of new initiatives aimed at extending the road map for Blu-ray and I look forward toÂ playing my part in helping to drive the format forward in Europeâ said Bottoms. âThrough my links with MESA, and now the BDA, we plan to strengthen the voice of the industry and build collaborative environment that drives revenue across the spectrum of delivery platforms and fosters growth and expansion into exciting new areas such as 4K.”
The Blu-ray Disc Associationâs Global Promotions Chair, Victor Matsuda, highlighted the work still to do in Europe and spoke of the BDAâs commitment to continue raising awareness with consumers and other industry groups to promote and grow the format.Â âBlu-ray Disc has been a tremendous global success, but there is still room to educate consumers and grow the format,” said Matsuda. âJim works with every key segment of the industry and as such, his relationships with today’s thought leaders and his insights into the overall direction of home entertainment are invaluable to ensuring a uniform industry voice.”
âHis experience and direction will be extremely helpful in bringing an understanding of the needs of each individual market and meeting the objectives of the members in each territory.”
The BDA recently re-structured its activities to reflect the changing industry dynamics, with the BDA in the US and its PR agency, Hoog+Associates, taking on a bigger role in driving the Associationâs activities on both sides of the Atlantic. âWeâve previously worked closely with Jim and his team in the US and on a global basisâ, said Michael Hoog, president of the eponymous promotions agency. âThis new relationship enables us to coordinate globally, but with greater insight into specific regions throughout Europe.”
Visual Data Media Services â a data centric facility supporting the creation, transformation, management, and distribution of content for all media platforms â has been awarded Preferred Vendor Status by Netflix. Visual Data is one of only 12 companies globally, and one of just three in the Los Angeles market, chosen as a Netflix Preferred Vendor.
Netflix, founded in 1997, is the world’s leading Internet television network. The company has more than 33 million members in 40 countries enjoying more than one billion hours of TV shows and movies per month. Members can watch as much as they would like on nearly any Internet-connected screen, positioning Netflix as the leading driver of content digitization for the Streaming VOD market.
In creating their Preferred Vendor Program, Netflix developed specific criteria to ensure that only the highest level candidates would be certified.Â As part of the evaluation process, Visual Data was assessed in the following areas: service levels and performance metrics, breadth and quality of service, scalable technical infrastructure, workflow efficiencies, order management solution, delivery timeline, account management team, and corrective action management.
Chris Fetner, Director of Content Partners Operations for Netflix, stated, âWeâre looking for the top providers in the Digital Supply Chain to streamline workflows and help us accelerate the streaming VOD transformation. Netflix seeks to digitize content quickly, while still maintaining the highest quality possible. Matching content providers with the best service providers accomplishes that. We are very pleased to have Visual Data as part of our program.â
John Trautman, CEO of Visual Data, commented, âOur highly skilled team is able to combine a deep knowledge of traditional tape-based workflows with the innovation and technical expertise required to service our clients in todayâs market.Â Visual Data is proud to be a part of the Netflix Preferred Vendor Program. This certification gives Netflixâ Content Partners the confidence to know that their material is being handled by a proven market leader in the Digital Supply Chain.â
Visual Data recently relocated into a brand new 30,000 square foot facility featuring 20 multi-functional âsmart suitesâ, which can be easily configured to provide encoding, transcoding, audio services, avid or final cut editing, QC, or color correction as needed.Â The data centric operation was designed from the ground up to support the rapidly evolving market of content transformation and management, while continuing to support traditional post production workflows as the industry migrates to a file-based world.
BluFocus Inc., an advanced testing and certification facility specializing in the assurance of quality media products, content and technologies for the entertainment industry, announced today it has partnered with Verance to offer testing services to support verification and certification of Blu-ray Disc players andÂ recorders employing the CinaviaÂ standard for protection of filmed entertainment content.
Verance first offered Cinavia certification and verification services in 2011 to assist consumer electronics manufacturers in ensuring compliance with industry requirements. These services decrease manufacturer cost, effort and time-to-market while increasing assurance of compliance with license obligations and consumer satisfaction in product deployments. More than 35 brand owners, manufacturers, software vendors, and chip providers, embraced the Cinavia testing program which is fee-free for Cinavia Preferred Partner Program members.
To meet this growing demand, BluFocus will now offer consumer electronics manufacturers an additional source of Cinavia certification and verification services. BluFocus is already providing testing services for other technologies employed in consumer devices, including Blu-ray Disc Association verification for hardware and software players. BluFocusâs offering means consumer electronics manufacturers engaged in Cinavia testing may now reduce the number of independent test vendors they employ.
The two companies have a long-standing relationship. In 2011, BluFocus introduced Cinavia verification services into its quality-assurance process workflow for DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 3D Blu-ray Disc media.
âWe strive to provide device manufacturers with ready access to high-quality Cinavia compliance testing services,â said Dean Angelico, executive vice president, operations at Verance. âBy partnering with BluFocus, we are expanding access to certification and verification services from a recognized industry leader in testing services.â
âWe are thrilled to have this expanded partnership with Verance,â said Paulette Pantoja, CEO and founder for BluFocus. âIt feels like a natural progression for our relationship, and we look forward to our future ânext steps.â The Cinavia technology is one that we firmly stand behind, particularly with piracy at an all-time high.â
âThe need for secure content protection solutions is extremely important for the entertainment industry. The robustness of the Cinavia technology makes it extremely effective in the fight against piracy,â said Juan Reyes, Chief Technology Officer for BluFocus. âWeâre glad to be a part of the process in helping to ensure its continued effectiveness and success through the highly detailed and technical testing weâll be conducting.â
By Colleen Quinn
Itâs that time of year!Â NearlyÂ 100,000 of the industryâs best and brightest flock to Sin City for meetings, demos, and debauchery. ItâsÂ NAB!Â Iâm a little wistful writing this from a cold, hard desk in Los Angeles, as pictures of productive-days-turned-long-raucous- nights start to flood into my Inbox.
âWish you were here!â they scream. Alas, me too. Not so much for the endless hands of blackjack (where I lose every penny to my name), the 36-ounce rib-eyes (âHey! Who has the most liberal expense account?!), or the dreaded booth-baby-T-shirt.Â No.Â Those things are nice â and essential to the NAB boondoggle â but mostly, Iâd like to be there because I think this year, really, NAB is important.
My mantra for the last 5-years has been âthe landscape for media and entertainment is changing.â I hear others talk about âthe battle for the living room.âÂ Well, Iâve got news for all of us. The landscape isnât changing. Itâs changed. And, that battle is over.Â Now weâre talking about a war â for the consumer. This monthâsÂ WIRED magazineÂ has dubbed this the Platinum era of television.Â Theyâre right.Â (See my recentÂ blog postÂ Â â was it a premonition to Wiredâs new issue?)
CE Week, the consumer electronics and technology industryâs annual mid-year event, today announced the addition of several new events and conferences to the CE Week 2013 line-up. These additions, combined with the return of popular events from yearâs past, will make CE Week 2013 the largest and most robust CE Week to-date.
CE Week will bring together global companies and innovators for a week of conferences, exhibitions, workshops and networking events, June 24-28, 2013, in New York City. The ever-popular CE Week Line Shows and Exhibits, CE Weekâs official show headquarters, is scheduled for June 26-27 at the Altman Building and Metropolitan Pavilion.
Events and conferences for CE Week 2013 include:
- Engadget+gdgt Live: For the third consecutive year, the innovative event series that brings technology brands and gadget enthusiasts together from around the country, will kick off CE Week on June 24 at the Altman Building.
- Women in CE Forum: The second annual Career Enhancement Forum, âEmpower Your Entrepreneurial Spirit,â returns to the Rubin Museum of Art on June 25. The event will include keynotes from Kay Koplovitz, Founder of USA Networks, and Mika Brzezinski, Co-Host of MSNBCâs âMorning Joeâ and Bestselling Author of âKnow Your Value.â
- iLounge NYC at CE Week Line Shows and Exhibits: The new VIP event on June 25 and two-day exhibition on June 26-27 will bring the excitement and vitality of the thriving AppleÂŽ accessory industry to Manhattan, showcasing the best upcoming iPadÂŽ, iPhoneÂŽ, and iPodÂŽ products.
- Connected Car Conference (C3): Co-produced by car technology expert and distinguished journalist Doug Newcomb (Wired, Edmunds.com, MSN Auto), this new half-day program on June 25 at the Metropolitan Pavilion will bring the best and brightest in the automotive and consumer electronics worlds together to navigate the road ahead for the connected car.
- Ultra HD Conference: A new half-day conference on June 25, bringing together leading technologists, marketers, broadcasters and home entertainment executives to share their views on the viability of the Ultra HD market, an overview of the their individual roadmaps to market, and a range of opinions about how, ultimately, Ultra HD content is going to be delivered to the household.
- Showstoppers at CE Week Line Shows and Exhibits: A press preview event for CE Week Line Shows and Exhibits on June 26 at 8:30 am. Media will get a sneak-peek at product debuts and see who will be making headlines before the show officially opens.
- FashionWare NYC at CE Week Line Shows and Exhibits: Produced by Robin Raskin, founder and president of Living in Digital Times, the new FashionWare exhibit on June 26-27, and runway show on June 26, will celebrate the most stylish, sophisticated and unique designs in high-tech fashion.
- Digital Health Summit at CE Week Line Shows and Exhibits: On June 26, Jill Gilbert and Robin Raskin, both renowned speakers in the field of digital health, will explore the booming markets of next generation medical devices, remote monitoring, mHealth apps and products, cloud-based medical services and wellness and fitness devices at this new event.
- Mobile Apps Showdown at CE Week Line Shows and Exhibits: Produced by Robin Raskin and Living in Digital Times, the Mobile Apps Showdown NYC Competition will put the best and brightest in mobile app technology on display. During the live showdown on June 26, ten finalists will put their apps to the test and the audience will cast the deciding vote on the best app.
- The Techlicious Summit at CE Week Line Shows and Exhibits: In this new half-day conference on June 27, Suzanne Kantra, Founder of Techlicious, will discuss how women make tech purchases, what type of messaging resonates with women, how to reach women through social channels and whatâs on womenâs wish lists this holiday season.
- 2nd Screen Summit NYC (S3): Produced by 2nd Screen Society in partnership with Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News magazines, S3 will be a gathering of CE, Broadcast, Advertising and Content Holder executives and their service provider partners for a half-day of information, market statistics, education and thought leadership around the emerging 2nd Screen ecosystem on June 27 at Clearview Cinemas Chelsea.
Registration for CE Week 2013 opens on April 15. For more information about CE Week and the CE Week Line Shows and Exhibits, visit www.ceweekny.com.
By Bart Myers, Vice President of Consumer WebÂ Properties, Rovi
Despite the rising number of entertainment options, itâs clear that Americans are watching as much TV as ever. Theyâre just watching it differently, discovering new ways to enjoy TV on their own terms and on whatever device is available to them.
They are streaming free and premium content to their tablets and smartphones. They are tuning into online services like Hulu and Netflix to watch their favorite shows. They are even paying a few bucks to watch single episodes via services like iTunes and Amazon Prime. And, yes, they still rely on cable and satellite subscriptions.
Still, many people in the television industry are freaking out. Theyâre obsessed with the same question: âWhoâs cutting the cord?â After all, Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable provider, said it lost 117,000 video customers in the third quarter of 2012. After decades of steady increase, the number of U.S. households subscribing to pay-TV service is now on the decline, according to the Nielsen Company.
But cord-cutting isnât the real issue. Instead, content producers should be asking, âWhat cords are viewers usingâand how can we maximize the value of those cords for everyone involved?â
Click here to read the full Blog post.
Saffron Digital, which recently joined Akamaiâs NetAlliance Partner Program, has leveraged its relationship with the leading cloud platform provider to launch a comprehensive end-to-end UltraViolet (UV) solution. The new solution will enable retailers, content owners, operators and device manufacturers to take advantage of the business opportunities presented by UV. Using a common file format (CFF), UV aims to engage consumers with the ultimate value proposition for premium video content: buy it anywhere and play it on any device you own.
Saffron Digital, which has been offering UV-like digital locker services since 2009, has integrated its secure online video platform with Akamaiâs Sola Media Solutions and global CDN to create an âout-of-the-boxâ UV solution that simplifies and shortens time to market. As part of the relationship, Saffron Digital will develop UV storefronts that have its proprietary CFF player at their core.
âUltraViolet is starting to gain real market traction around the world with a wave of digital media retailers lining up to launch UV multi-platform VOD services. In the UK and US weâre already seeing millions of household accounts being created and thousands of titles becoming available. Weâre also seeing a lot of interest from digital media retailers in Australia and New Zealand who are keen to get involved,â said Jason Keane, Saffron Digital CEO. âThere are a lot of great synergies between Saffron Digital and Akamai and by integrating our video-platform with their media solutions and CDN weâre in a great position to help these very retailers launch compelling experiences as UV rolls out globally.â
The new end-to-end solution will feature:
- Content preparation
- A comprehensive content management system (CMS)
- Storefront services and application design & development
- Digital locker services
- Payment and authentication
- A proprietary CFF video player
- Service management
- Media analytics and reporting
Steven Chester, Vice President, Global Media & Entertainment at Akamai Technologies said, âAkamaiâs NetAlliance Partner Program is designed to create better unified and integrated solutions for our customers, and the addition of Saffron Digital allows us to offer further choices for UV customers. With a strong focus on premium video, Saffron Digital is one of the industry leaders in DRM services and end-user experience. Like Saffron, weâve been delivering UV-like services for a long time and, together, we know the complexities that new implementers may come across and how to solve them.â
Executives from Saffron Digital and Akamai will be available throughout NAB to discuss the partnership and the opportunities presented by UV.
By Seth Hallen, CEO, Testronic Labs
Editorial Contributions By: Graham McAllister, Ph.D., VP of User Research, Testronic Labs
In the home entertainment industry, never before have we seen such rapid and dramatic changes in the way consumers are accessing and viewing content.Â Broadcast television was the first effective format available to the masses for watching content in the home.Â It took almost 40 years for the next significant innovation in content delivery to arrive on the scene, videotape, which allowed a consumer to choose when and where to watch a movie or TV show.Â More than 20 years later, DVD and then Blu-ray improved the quality of in-home content and DVRâs made time-shifting possible.Â Now, less than 10 years after the introduction of the Blu-ray Disc, we are experiencing a colossal shift towards online digital video consumption.
According to Futuresource Consulting, there were over 485 billion legitimate (not pirated) online video views in the US last year! That is up from 266 billion in 2009.Â As impressive as that number is, only 1 percent of those views were purchased.Â Clearly the public is hungry for online access to content.Â The challenge is offering a value proposition the consumer is willing to pay for.
If core consumption has changed so dramatically, it is only logical to ask how behaviors regarding searching, accessing, cataloging and interacting with content will change.Â There are already various options available, from simple web interfaces to 2nd screen apps to voice-command interfaces.Â Which of these, if any, are most compelling to the consumer?Â How can you determine exactly how consumers like to access and interact with their content?Â How can you best forecast the trends so that developers can create UIs that will truly engage consumers so that they recognize the value in purchasing content they view online and through all their various devices?Â How can you ensure an experience that home video consumers love so much that it will yield DVD-caliber success?
Click here to read the full report.
Testronic and Player Research Announce Exclusive Collaboration for Video Games User Experience Testing
Testronic Labs, the global leader in quality assurance services for games, film and television, and media, has announced an exclusive collaboration agreement with Player Research , a User Experience (UX) company led by Graham McAllister. Player Research, a highly regarded UX studio and video games play testing company headquartered in Brighton, UK, is at the very forefront of helping games companies and other entertainment entities analytically and scientifically understand the elements and motivation of player behavior. The collaboration will put state-of-the-art UX testing in the hands of Testronic’s global roster of clients. McAllister, Player Research staffers and the Testronic team are on hand at GDC 2013 to provide private demonstrations of the technology.
Testronic will be opening the doors to a User Experience Lab at its US headquarters, located in Burbank, California, during Q2, 2013. McAllister is playing a key role in designing the new lab, which features the unique combination of biometrics, subject qualifications, and multi-pronged interviews that has proven highly successful for Player Research. The UX Lab will benefit from, and interact with, the powerful end-to-end testing ecosystem Testronic has built out at its First Street facility.
McAllister, a recognized leader in the User Experience community, launched Player Research in Brighton, UK. A respected academic, he earned his PhD in Computer Graphics from the University of Ulster (Ireland). McAllister is a senior lecturer at the University of Sussex on the Human-Computer Interaction and a journalist, writing for the influential games publication, Edge. His motivation in this highly-technical, but very human area of analysis has always been, “…to make better games. It comes down to a scientific approach in making informed choices in the game development process. We have designed the biometrics that track the physical aspect of User Experience, but over the years we’ve discovered that those tests lack meaning without the corresponding questions and an analysis of the combined information. The combination of the subjective and biometric produces powerful insights.”
Testronic is focused on keeping their clients, which include leading games developers and publishers, well ahead of the changing demands of deliverables and consumer behavior. The concept of User Experience is evolving rapidly for video games and entertainment product, and Testronic wanted to go past the horizon of current thought, and establish new benchmarks for quality in this arena.
Johan Craeybeckx, Chief Technology Officer of Testronic, comments, “We are delighted to be working closely with Graham and his team, and look forward to meeting with our clients at GDC to demonstrate the work we are engaged in together. The Player Research approach goes far beyond much of what is being called User Experience today and we see UX as a crucial component of games testing. At Testronic, we have been thinking about this area for a long time, and we see the collaboration and the launch of our new lab in Burbank as a huge benefit to our games customers.”
McAllister concluded, “It’s exciting to work with my colleagues at Testronic, we share a focus on providing our clients with the latest but most thoughtful approach to making sure their products are at the forefront of the marketplace.”
ESCA Digital March 28 Adds Afternoon Keynote with ESPN Journalist J.A. Adande: A Look at the Parallels among Sports, Life and Business
Acclaimed sports journalist J.A. Adande will share his insights into the changing dynamics of digital media during the afternoon keynote session at the ESCA Digital conference March 28 in Los Angeles. Currently a senior writer covering the NBA for ESPN.com and formerly with the Los Angeles Times, Adande will discuss his experience making the shift from print to online media. He will also address how he thinks about reporting on a game as heâs watching it, how the shift to online media affects that process and the parallels between the evolution of sports reporting and the changes impacting the broader home entertainment business. Heâll also offer tips on how basketball teams can win by adapting their defenses and will fieldÂ questions from the audience.
Adande is the author of âThe Best Los Angeles Sports Arguments: The 100 Most Controversial, Debatable Questions for Die-Hard Fans.â He also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism, where he teaches a class entitled “Sports Commentary,” and co-teaches a class on “Sports Public Relations.”
The ESCA Digital conference program will be highlighted by three unique sessions addressing the broad scope of the digital supply chain – from what it takes to prepare content behind the scenes to the tools needed to market in the digital space, and how to meet the needs of the constantly evolving digital consumer lifestyle.
To register for ESCA Digital, click here.
Deutsche Telekom Business Development and Innovation (DT) has today launched VideoRise,Â a secure online video platform that simplifies the creation, management and delivery of premium multiplatform video services. This comes as part of a strategic partnership to re-sell Saffron DigitalâsÂ unique end-to-end solution.
Powered by Saffron Digital, the DT-branded VideoRise solution will enable telcos and OTT VOD service providers to easily launch compelling entertainment experiences that increase revenue and build viewer engagement across all screens. It combines content preparation, a content management system (CMS), storefront design and development, digital locker services, payment and authentication and a proprietary secure video player in one platform. However, thanks to its modular nature, individual components can also be integrated into a companyâs existing systems and workflows as needed.
Jason Keane, CEO Saffron Digital said, âManaging digital rights, licensing rules and the increasing variety of video formats to launch a premium multiplatform video service is becoming more complex. Combining our end-to-end premium video solution with Deutsche Telekomâs global partner network will enable us to provide operators with a wide range of innovative tools and modules to help overcome these challenges.â
âWe needed a VOD service that would support our global customers with all the challenges they face in the ever-evolving video market and VideoRise is exactly that,â said Karim El-Khazen, Deutsche TelekomÂ Vice President Business Development and Innovation (BDI), International Businesses. âFrom our long experience serving Telco operators and service providers we know that an end-to-end consultative approach, modularity and speed of delivery are key to success. Now, thanks to our partnership with Saffron Digital, our customers can rely on a top solution that delivers on all these dimensions. Additionally, VideoRise complements our portfolio of solutions serving OTT, content and media players in the space of content enabling and content monetization.â
DT and Saffron Digital will announce the first VideoRise customer at the end of Q2 2013.
By Emmanuel Josserand
We are all living in an increasingly fragmented world. And the media world is no different.Â Consumers are demanding their viewing experience expands to the smartphone and tablet from the primary screen, which is itself becoming much more complex with the propagation of smart TVs. Therefore content distributors need to make their content compatible for distribution in myriad formats. The conundrum, of course, is that the consumer therefore expects more at the same price. The content creators and distributors need to spend more to generate the same price.
Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) helps bridge this disconnection on both ends of the broadcasting experience, offering consumers deeper immersion and interaction with television programming and advertising, while providing rights holders and broadcasters a heightened level of business intelligence through highly granular tracking of how viewers interact with content. ACR, powered by either watermarking or fingerprinting, allows dynamic and seamless interlinking of devices, viewers, content and applications. So it fuses the viewing experience across multiple screens for the viewer, while closing the delivery-feedback loop for the content owner and distributor. The whole process becomes more efficient.
In the multi-screen environment, ACR is a tool that gives a smart device – such as a smartphone or tablet – the ability to become âcontent-aware.â This awareness allows the smart device to recognize what is being watched on the primary TV screen without the need for direct input from the user.
In a strong affirmation of the core technology and market potential of Brevity, a digital technology start-up serving the media and entertainment markets, the company has entered into a strategic partnership with The Kraft Group that includes a significant infusion of capital. The Kraft Groupâs investment, for which specific terms were not disclosed, follows previous angel rounds raised by Brevity totaling $7.7 million.
Founded in 2009, Brevityâs breakthrough solution was designed to highly accelerate the transport of digital video files while enabling the simultaneous delivery in multiple formats to multiple locations at the push of a button. Integrating web-based collaboration and workflow automation tools, Brevity provides an unparalleled user experience for managing and distributing digital media assets, and an increased efficiency in workflows for unmatched return on investment. The technology has been adopted by leading broadcasters, NBC Sports and CBS Sports, and successfully deployed in critical applications for broadcasts of major events, including the 2012 Olympic Games and the NFL Super Bowl.
The Kraft Groupâs interests in sports and entertainment include ownership of the New England Patriots NFL franchise, the New England Revolution MLS franchise and Gillette Stadium.
According to Kevin Norris, Brevity President and CEO, the addition of a strong strategic partner like The Kraft Group underscores the strong market potential of Brevity in the media and entertainment sectors and positions the company for growth going forward.
âBrevity has proven its technology with some of the highest profile, most demanding media brands and now with an experienced, well-connected partner like The Kraft Group, weâre optimally positioned to take our technology to new customers and markets.â
Civolution, the leading provider of technology and solutions for identifying, managing and monetizing content, today announces an agreement with SendtoNews, the leading digital US news syndication agency.
SendtoNews has been working with Civolutionâs watermarking technology since June 2012 to create a system which seamlessly integrates into their video management system. This system has been extensively tested over the past few months.
SendtoNews will leverage data from all US and Canadian channels being monitored by Civolutionâs TeletraxÂŽ platform through Teletraxâs renewed web-based analytics portal. The broadcast insights provided by Teletrax will allow SendtoNews to more effectively connect sports leagues, news outlets, and leading brands to premium sports video highlights.
âWe wanted to match the premium quality of our sports video content with equally premium insights into the use of that content,” said Greg Bobolo, CEO of SendtoNews. âTeletrax is a powerful digital asset management tool that will aid us to better understand precisely the reach of our content. The intelligence gathered will allow us to fine tune our offerings, better allocate our resources which should in turn positively impact our bottom line.ââ
SendtoNews will utilize Civolutionâs digital watermarking technology to encode their sports content ingested from various sporting locations. Once it has been distributed across SendtoNewsâs media delivery network, sports content â which includes Professional Golf, Hockey, Soccer and Motorsports highlight videos – will be tracked on the global Teletrax monitoring network.Â This includes the newly-expanded Teletrax channel line-up with additional TV stations now being monitored across Canada. The combination of both digital watermarking and automated near real-time content monitoring will enable SendtoNews to better understand and confirm usage of their media packages.
âWe are very pleased that SendToNews, a leading and innovative media delivery platform, chose Teletraxâ, said Andy Nobbs, CMO, Civolution. âTeletrax allows clients to accurately track where, when and how different media content is being used, thereby enabling more efficient asset distribution and better inventory control.â
Civolutionâs Teletrax – Television Monitoring is the premier global television content tracking solution. It is the only global serviceÂ offering a combination of cutting-edge watermarking and fingerprinting technologies over the worldâs largest monitoring network. The number of available channels in the Teletrax product has increased to the highest levels yet in the 11-year history of the platform, now with over 2,000 channels including all 210 U.S. DMAs, across over 60 countries worldwide from monitoring stations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, South and Central America, and Canada.
All this broadcast intelligence is accessible to partners through a recently re-launched online portal, which was developed based on client feedback. The new widget-based dashboard allows for extensive user-customization, and includes the Teletrax OnView plug-in, which enables users to actually view the video as aired on the TV station.Â Along with the richer, visually driven view of data, and insights which allow clients to grasp at-a-glance the exact reach and usage of their content, clients also have access to new competitive analysis tools, such as content âretrotrackingâ. The Teletraxâ retrotracking broadcast monitoring service delivers detailed reports on the reach of past events by retroactively tracking the broadcast of those events.
Saffron Digital Powers Expansion of KDDIâs Premium Video On Demand Service Across iOS and Smart TV
KDDI, one of Japanâs leading telcos, has today announced the launch of its Video Pass service on Apple iOS devices and Smart TV Stick. Â Powered by Saffron Digital, the premium video on demand service is now available across four platforms and is for the first time accessible by KDDIâs entire smartphone subscriber base.
Video Pass, which was already available across a wide range of devices including Android phones and tablets as well as PCs and Macs will now be available to KDDIâs iPhone and iPad customers, giving them access to premium film and TV content anywhere, anytime. KDDI has also launched Smart TV Stick, a portable Android OS Set-Top-Box the size of a USB stick that can be plugged onto the TV through HDMI input. Available for sale in over 2500 KDDI retail stores, Smart TV Stick will have the Video Pass application pre-installed to give users immediate access to the entire catalogue of content.
âWe have really valued Saffron Digitalâs online video expertise since the launch of Video Pass last year, so it was a natural choice for us to use them to extend our offering to Appleâs iconic mobile devices, and to help launch our Smart TV Stick,â said Tetsuji Fujita, Head of Media Service Planning Section KDDI. âHaving content available across multiple platforms is becoming a âmust haveâ service for mobile operators and Saffron Digitalâs comprehensive solution has allowed us to ensure we are giving our subscribers exactly what they want. The partnership also helps us to forge a permanent position in the multiscreen market by widening our device reach â doing this allows us to securely broaden our subscriber base and open the door to a realm of new profitable applications.â
Saffron Digital has been powering KDDIâs Video Pass service since its launch to more than 26 different Android devices in May 2012. Using its end-to-end online video platform, Saffron Digital designed and developed Video Pass as a multi-screen ecosystem that enables KDDIâs subscribers to enjoy Hollywood and local film and TV content wherever they are. With its unique Pause and Resume technology users can also seamlessly switch between devices and pick up where they left off mid video. These latest platform launches will give KDDIâs subscribers an even broader range of entertainment options.
âWe continually strive to innovate and expand the device reach of Video Pass for KDDI. As a British technology company, it is a real honour to be exporting our knowledge, expertise and technical know-how to Japan, one of the biggest digital markets in the world,â said Jason Keane, CEO Saffron Digital. âBy rolling out Video Pass on iOS devices and Smart TV Stick weâre helping KDDI significantly extend the reach of connected devices available to their customers. Working with KDDI supports our on-going commitment to providing mobile device operators and content service providers with a complete end-to-end video solution that seamlessly reaches the greatest number of devices, whilst providing their customers an unrivalled user experience.â
Video Pass launched on Smart TV Stick last week and has gone live this week on iPhone and iPad.
By Colleen Quinn
Did you hear about eye-tracking technology for the Second Screen?
Yeah. Me neither. But, apparently, Time Warnerâs Media Lab â the companyâs impressive research center and Ivory Tower â is using eye-tracking technology to determine how viewers use Second Screen apps in complement to actual TV Viewing. No, they wonât be sending 15 MM+ pairs of goggles home for toddlers across the US to destroy. Donât worry.
In light of LOTS of ambiguity about the Second ScreenÂ Â â and, to bolster strategy around their recent funding of Social TV service Get Glue -Â the Time Warner study should shine some light on how, when, and how supportive (or distracting) the Second Screen is to linear programming (and the advertisers who pay high-price for ad time in their line-ups).
Iâm sure Iâll find the results interesting. But, hereâs the thing â the opportunity to monetize the Second Screen is moving faster than the speed of Academia. Companies investing in Second Screen initiatives â and, that would be every company with media in its veins â canât wait for the results.
Hereâs the good news. You donât have to. Much of that data is already at your fingertips. Not to discount the Time Warner research â in much the same way I wouldnât discount third party enrichment data in general â the fact is, if you have a Second Screen app (and I know you do!), youâve got equal access. More, maybe.
Sure, you may not be able to tell if my eyes were glued to the Kleenex ad running in the first ad break â or if I was, instead, scrambling to find Tina FeyâsÂ Jimmy Chooâs through the companion app. But, youâll be able to tell a whole lot about how, when, where and what I did with your app.
And, if youâre good, youâll be able to take that insight, and integrate it with what you know about my browsing behavior online. Â If youâre really good (and you would be, if you worked with a powerhouse like us, youâll integrate that with my past transactional behavior through retail.
With that combined analytic insight, you can use the Second Screen as a delivery vehicle for a highly personalized experience â and one that doesnât detract from the linear experience, Iâd add. Â And, the value doesnât stop at the Second Screen.Â That same insight can be leveraged across your marketing organization.
I know how Iâm using the Second Screen â as my first. Cord-cutters unite! And, Iâm sure some guy somewhere is doing meaningful research on that too.
But, the smartest media companies can tap into many of these insights now, with data ready and waiting across the enterprise: from web to-mobile to the set-top box and beyond.Â Why would you sit around and wait for stale research or aged data, when the answers are at your fingertips (with the right tools, of course)? What would you do if you knew the answersâŚ now?
Testronic Labs, the global leader in quality assurance, localization, and certification services for consumer electronics, film and television, games, enterprise, and publishing, is now certified as an Authorized Test Laboratory (ATL) for the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC). The CCC is dedicated to cross-industry collaboration in developing MirrorLinkâ˘ global standards and solutions for smartphone and in-vehicle connectivity. Members are among the worldâs leading automotive, mobile communications and consumer electronics industry companies.
The CCC is driving global innovation for phone-centric car connectivity, developing open industry standards and solutions. To maintain a high level of quality and functionality, the CCC has put a certification protocol in place through a highly qualified network of ATL’s. Testronic has met the CCCâs stringent requirements and is now engaged in testing for companies seeking certification.
The CCCâs certification process and conformance test tools are relevant to software developers, as well as manufacturers and automakers, who are building applications within the vehicleâs environment and controls and designing MirrorLink-enabled mobile apps. The CCC is focused on giving mobile app developers open access to their technology so that they can develop drive-safe apps that are fully interoperable between MirrorLink-enabled smartphone’s and cars.
âMeticulous product certification is one of the cornerstones of MirrorLinkâs success,â said Alan Ewing, Executive Director of the CCC. âOur certification guidelines ensure any product bearing the MirrorLink logo carries out the standardâs core duties â not least of which is total interoperability between MirrorLink products. We are pleased to see Testronic Labs, a respected leader in quality assurance and certification, become a partner in safeguarding our standards.â
âWe are proud to be able to test and certify these new applications and products for the CCC,â said Testronic Labs CTO Johan Craeybeckx. âThe transformation of the car into a highly connected, information-rich environment is one of the most significant developments for consumers, and Testronic is uniquely qualified to work with all of the contributors, be they software, hardware, or entertainment content providers. We are thrilled to support new standards and the development in this exciting area.â
BluFocus Inc., an advanced testing and certification facility specializing in the assurance of quality media products and solutions for the entertainment industry, announced today that it has partnered with Sony Creative Software to offer its testingÂ services to support their DoStudioâ˘ Blu-ray Discâ˘ authoring platform.
The DoStudio line of software applications focuses on professional Blu-ray Discâ˘ creation. The software allows the user to create replication ready Blu-ray discs with interactive pop-up menus,Â complex interactivity, and high definition quality video and audio. It does this with an intuitive point-and-click interface that doesnât involve complex scripting. DoStudio provides an easy-to-understand workflow that results in masters that meets the Blu-rayÂ Discâ˘ specification.
BluFocus will be providing developer services aimed specifically at users of the DoStudio Authoring software. In this collaboration, clients using the DoStudio software to create Blu-ray discs can utilize BluFocusâ testing services in the areas of quality, compliancy, functionality, usability, and compatibility to ensure their Blu-ray Discs meet Blu-ray specifications and are of the highest quality standard.
âSony Creative Softwareâs commitment to the Blu-ray authoring community is strengthened by industry relationships, and this partnership with BluFocus demonstrates our on-going support for providing customers of DoStudio an affordable option in properÂ verification of Blu-ray projects, â said Dave Chaimson, VP Worldwide Marketing, Sony Creative Software.
âWeâre excited, once again, to collaborate with Sony Creative Software and provide expert testing services for their DoStudio clients. The growth of the Blu-ray format has caused a significant increase in competition, which in turn, means that independentÂ content providers can create stunning Blu-ray projects with this easy to use software where attention and focus is still needed to ensure quality is maintained,âÂ said Paulette Pantoja, BluFocus CEO and Founder. âOur experience with this software, in addition to our highly skilled testing abilities, enables us to work with DoStudio authoring teams to ensure their Blu-ray projects are of the highest caliber beforeÂ they reach the marketâ.
A+E Networks UK Addresses Massive Content File Movement Challenge for Both IT and End Users With Signiant Media Shuttle
At the BVE Conference in London today, Signiant, the market leader in intelligent file movement software for media and entertainment, announced that A+E Networks(TM) UK, a joint venture between A+E Networks(TM) and BSkyB, is using its Media Shuttle(TM) hybrid SaaS file transfer solution for easy, high-speed file transfers of massive content files to its broadcast partners across the globe. Combining the ease of a consumer-style file transfer tool with the control that IT needs, Media Shuttle allows A+E Networks UK’s end users to move massive files easily and securely — while assets remain secure, tracked and under the IT department’s control.
A+E Networks UK, whose portfolio of channel brands include HISTORY(TM), MILITARY HISTORY(R), BIO(TM) and Crime & Investigation Network(R), centers its business around fast, efficient delivery of content to playout centers for rebroadcast. By late 2012, the company wished to move away from consumer-grade file transfer approaches that were unreliable or limited file sizes. In a pilot program using Media Shuttle, A+E Networks UK achieved such startling performance — 300 Mbps delivery speeds direct to the desktop when serving large groups of simultaneous users — that it quickly finalized the decision to deploy Media Shuttle.
A+E Networks UK now maintains several Media Shuttle Workgroup portals allowing its entire product line of content to be transferred from A+E in New York to London quickly — for instance, transferring 70GB files between partners in just over an hour — from a branded, easy to use Web portal. Meanwhile IT retains the power to determine where content is stored — on private networks or in the cloud — and how network resources should be allocated for maximum enterprise-wide efficiency.
“As a long time user of Signiant solutions, we know their depth of expertise in network optimization and file acceleration, and it clearly demonstrated in Media Shuttle,” said Tony Gill, Director of Operations, A+E Networks UK. “Media Shuttle was easy to set up without IT intervention, even easier to use, and lets us leverage both the public and private cloud. With Media Shuttle we have gained a highly scalable system that’s reliable and effortless both internally and for our partners.”
A+E Networks UK joins a fast growing number of organizations worldwide that are adopting Media Shuttle to fill the gaps of online file sharing and FTP solutions. Media Shuttle, the newest addition to Signiant’s portfolio of accelerated file transfer solutions, provides an effective alternative to these technologies — but without associated file size constraints or security risks. Media Shuttle’s hybrid SaaS architecture lets users access fast file transfer capabilities through a simple interface delivered from the cloud while maintaining the file cache within the secure control of their own network. A flexible subscription-based pricing model makes Media Shuttle the ideal solution for project-based initiatives or enterprises looking to scale on demand.
“A+E Networks UK’s experience with Media Shuttle shows that it’s indeed possible for end users and IT to achieve harmony even with demanding applications like extreme file transfers,” said Dave Nortier, Managing Director, Signiant EMEA. “In fact that’s our goal.”
Thereâs no question that television viewership trends are drastically changing, but is this necessarily a bad thing for TV networks, advertisers, and distributors? Or can they tap into new opportunities?
At Advertising Week 2012, PwC explored the emerging multi-screen landscape by hosting a debate between the Marketing Association of the Columbia Business School (Columbia) and the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Brandcenter on the question “Should advertisers, agencies and the media worry about cord-cutting?”
This brief summarizes the debaters’ points of view on emerging platforms for viewing TV content. Then we take a closer look at the challenges and opportunities second screen technologies present to the traditional TV model.
Key success factors discussed in the brief are:
- Nurturing the conversation, not just the product
- Collaborating to produce more agile advertising
- Harnessing the potential of a super fan subscriber
- Respecting consumer privacy
- Using new metrics for improved measurement
With innovative partnerships and new capabilities and technologies, a well-planned strategy incorporating second screen can be an important engine for growth.
The cord-cutting debate and the role of second screen in TV, advertising and content distribution.
CLICK HERE to download the new PwC release.
Robert Tercek, one of the worldâs most prolific creators of interactive content, has been named the keynote speaker at next week’s 2nd Screen Summit/LA at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on Tuesday, February 26.
Following up on last yearâs inaugural event and as an encore to the sold-out Summit at CES, the 2nd Screen Summit returns to L.A. for an afternoon of programming focused on 2nd screen experiences specific to film and episodic TV as home entertainment.
Tercek’s keynote, “Finding Opportunity in Fragmentation,” will explain how Hollywood executives need to adapt an entirely new mindset as television and home video migrate towards distribution over two-way digital networks and as weâre beginning to experience the effects of unbundling. Tercek will explore fragmentation of audience, platform, channel, and advertising; and he will highlight some unexpected opportunities for television and home video companies to reconnect with audiences via the 2nd screen.
His 25-year career spans television, games, interactive media and wireless. He has served in senior roles at MTV and Sony Pictures and most recently as the President of Digital at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. His career includes milestones, including: the first multichannel television in Asia, the first online multiplayer games, the first interactive TV game shows, and the first video services delivered to mobile phones. Today, as chairman of his company Creative Visions, his views on the future of television and media are sought by organizations around the world. He is also the host of the online talk show “Inventing the Future.”
For final program information and to register for the event visit: Â www.2ndscreensummit.com
With over 50 million albums sold since itâs launch in 1991, Ministry of Sound houses a network of international record labels, administered from offices in London next to their world-famous nightclub. Building on a long-term manufacturing services relationship, Ministry of Sound has chosen Sony DADC for their distribution services.
The agreement, which will run until 2018, draws on Sony DADC’s expertise in pick, pack and ship; customer service, returns management and reverse logistics. Distribution operations will be handled out of Sony DADCâs new UK distribution centre in Enfield, North London and go live in mid February 2013.
As a testament to the scope and flexibility of the operational tasks Sony DADC can offer clients, it will also manage telesales on behalf of Ministry of Sound to UK independent record stores.
âAs a major global brand, Ministry of Sound requires a reliable and flexible service provider, capable of future-proofing evolving industry strategies and able to react quickly to any and every market opportunity,â said Sigi Obermayr, Vice President Sales at Sony DADC. âWe are proud that Ministry of Sound has selected us and we are looking forward to growing their business together.â
Eddie Jones, Sales and Operations Director at Ministry of Sound said: âIt was important to partner with a vendor who both shared our vision, and could provide the full range of management and fulfilment capabilities we need to deliver our packaged media business. â
Following up on last yearâs inaugural event and as an encore to the sold-out Summit at CES, the 2nd Screen Summit returns to L.A. for an afternoon of programming focused on 2nd screen experiences specific to film and episodic TV as home entertainment.
1:30 Conference Sessions
Hereâs who is speaking:
Tim Alessi, Director New Product Development, LG Electronics USA
Eric Anderson, Vice President Content & Product Solutions, Samsung Electronics
Mark Andersson, Senior Manager, Global Content Development, Twentieth Century Fox
Bill Baxter, Chief Technology Officer, BuddyTV
Todd F. Brown, Chief Revenue Officer & Executive Vice President, Business Development, Yap.tv
Tom Engdahl, President & Chief Executive Officer, Magic Ruby
Kirk Dulaney, Executive Director Business Development, Sony Electronics
Marc Finer, Technical Director, DEG: Digital Entertainment Group
Guy Finley, Executive Director, MESA/2nd Screen Society
Jay Friedman, Vice President, Marketing & Customer Support, Audible Magic
Tracy Geist, Vice President, Business Development, Digitalsmiths
Stacy Jolna, Vice President, Marketing, ConnecTV
Gene Kelsey, Director Sales Support/Training, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company
Matt Kennedy, Chief Creative Officer, Cinram/1K Studios
Fady Lamaa, Vice President, Product Development, mPortal
Richard OâConnell, (Former) Vice President, Marketing, Disney ABC Digital Group
Chuck Parker, Chairman, 2nd Screen Society and President, The Intersection
Andrew Pearson, Vice President Marketing, New Release, Fox Home Entertainment
Juan Reyes, Chief Technology Officer, BluFocus
Andrew Solmssen, West Coast Managing Director, POSSIBLE
Bhanu Srikanth, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Jargon Technologies
Robert Tercek, President & Founder, General Creativity
Jeremy Toeman, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Dijit
Zane Vella, Chief Executive Officer, WatchWith
Stephen White, Chief Executive Officer, Gracenote
Hereâs what theyâre speaking about:
- KEYNOTE: Inventing the Future (of 2nd Screen)
- 2nd Screen – By The Numbers
- DEG Focus: Consumer Electronics in the Living Room
- Technology Spotlight: Prometheus
- Thereâs an App for That… Or is There?
- Developing 2nd Screen Ecosystems
- Technology Spotlight: UX = Brand
- Leveraging Cloud-based Lockers for Discovery as a Tool for EST and Monetization
- Stimulating: To Enhance -or- Social: To Share? Key Features for a Movie Companion App
Guy Finley (917) 513-5963 Guy@MESAlliance.org
Garrett Randall (310) 882-9204 Garrett@MESAlliance.org
By John Crosier
With a dizzying array of devices making their way into the hands of consumers daily, the way in which content is presented and absorbed is rapidly evolving. Today we seek our favorite content in any format at any time on a multitude of devices. From physical to digital and TVs to tablets, consumer appetite is pacing technology nicely and vice versa. In addition to this myriad of consumption options, content owners and creators also benefit from these technological advancements by having increased flexibility during creation, storage and delivery of their products. Technology is allowing the consumer to experience their favorite content in a way that best fits their lifestyle, and the media and entertainment industry is listening as technology takes a leading role.
The Evolving Supply Chain
Behind the growing abundance of connected devices is a constantly evolving supply chain supporting and defining new areas of growth. For instance, solutions providers like us have gone from focusing solely on managing physical content to defining ways in which both physical and digital content can coexist within the supply chain process. By identifying advanced delivery solutions, manufacturing, preparation and distribution of physical and digital products can occur simultaneously and efficiently. We are far past the days where only an automated encoding and transcoding system will suffice. Enhancements to what was once considered core technology are now necessary to stay ahead and allow for further automation and streamlining of content delivery and storage. Centralized databases now house all of our content assets and set the foundation for a streamlined workflow across various product and platform environments. From better management of enhanced content to the quick access of product orders, this level of asset management transcends the needs of both the physical and digital supply chain.
As devices get smarter and more feature-rich, so does our expectation of how we consume content. Unique interactivity and enhanced features are becoming common place, which in turn is spawning quickly maturing segments of the entertainment supply chain; one such being âapplications development.â With a strong history of creating enhanced content for movies, the development of rich application experiences is a natural fit for our digital media team at 1K/Cinram Studios. Whether weâre developing companion applications or a stand-alone experience, we really enjoy the liberation in creating features that arenât limited by a traditional remote control with directional arrows. Content for the traditional 10-foot experience is very different than the two-foot experience on an iPad with a reactive touch screen, microphone, gyro, compass, GPS, web connectivity and a beautiful high-resolution glossy display.
Brown Bag Films Selects Aspera Technology to Enable Real-Time Global Collaboration and a 24/7 Post-Production Workflow
Aspera, Inc., creators of next-generation software technologies that move the worldâs big data at maximum speed,Â today announced that Brown Bag Films,Â Europeâs successful creative-led animation studio, has deployed Aspera Syncto enable real-time post-production collaboration between its partner studios in Ireland, Mumbai, Singapore and Indonesia. Aspera Sync offers a scalable and multidirectional file-synchronization and replication solution for moving big data over large distances at high speed. It provides a high-performance alternative, up to 100 times faster than traditional sync and replication technologies, and eliminates the inefficiencies and costs of manually shipping tapes.
Brown Bag Films relies on worldwide partner studios, often in far-flung locations, for portions of their animation workflow. To successfully manage the ever greater number of projects in its pipeline, and increasingly handle the big data demands of 3D and HD productions, Brown Bag Films needed a real-time 24/7 collaboration solution to enable quick and easy file-sharing with its worldwide partners. Other key requirements for the file solution were that it had to be fast, reliable and stable while ensuring no file corruption occurred during transfers.
Brown Bag Films selected and deployed Aspera Sync to move and replicate file sets between sites in the background and leveraged a Web-based production tracking system to keep track of all replicated files and versions in a âhands-freeâ operation. Users at the overseas studios simply access files via storage mounted to their desktops. When users place the finished files back onto the mounted drive, Aspera Sync automatically transfers all new or modified files at high speed back to Ireland, where Brown Bag Filmsâ internally developed tools create a âpackageâ of files, ensuring correct naming convention.
To support smaller animation studios on an ad-hoc basis, Brown Bag Films deployed Aspera Connect Server, which allows anyone to download files from the central server using an install-on-demand browser plug-in. This overcomes previous issues of users having to install FTP clients and makes the whole experience a lot easier for smaller studio partners.
Incorporating Aspera Sync software into its existing pipeline has enabled Brown Bag Films to integrate more closely with its overseas partner studios, and facilitate real-time collaboration between artists and producers across time zones.