By Emmanuel Josserand
We are all living in an increasingly fragmented world. And the media world is no different.¬†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 ‚Äúcontent-aware.‚ÄĚ 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 Group‚Äôs investment, for which specific terms were not disclosed, follows previous angel rounds raised by Brevity totaling $7.7 million.
Founded in 2009, Brevity‚Äôs 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 Group‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúBrevity 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, we‚Äôre optimally positioned to take our technology to new customers and markets.‚ÄĚ
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 Civolution‚Äôs 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 Civolution‚Äôs Teletrax¬ģ platform through Teletrax‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúWe 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. ‚ÄėTeletrax 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.‚Äô‚Äô
SendtoNews will utilize Civolution‚Äôs digital watermarking technology to encode their sports content ingested from various sporting locations. Once it has been distributed across SendtoNews‚Äôs media delivery network, sports content ‚Äď which includes Professional Golf, Hockey, Soccer and Motorsports highlight videos – will be tracked on the global Teletrax monitoring network.¬† 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.
‚ÄúWe are very pleased that SendToNews, a leading and innovative media delivery platform, chose Teletrax‚ÄĚ, said Andy Nobbs, CMO, Civolution. ‚ÄúTeletrax 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.‚ÄĚ
Civolution‚Äôs Teletrax – Television Monitoring is the premier global television content tracking solution. It is the only global service¬†offering a combination of cutting-edge watermarking and fingerprinting technologies over the world‚Äôs 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.¬† 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 ‚Äėretrotracking‚Äô. The Teletrax‚Äô 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 KDDI‚Äôs Premium Video On Demand Service Across iOS and Smart TV
KDDI, one of Japan‚Äôs leading telcos, has today announced the launch of its Video Pass service on Apple iOS devices and Smart TV Stick. ¬†Powered by Saffron Digital, the premium video on demand service is now available across four platforms and is for the first time accessible by KDDI‚Äôs 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 KDDI‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúWe have really valued Saffron Digital‚Äôs 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 Apple‚Äôs iconic mobile devices, and to help launch our Smart TV Stick,‚ÄĚ said Tetsuji Fujita, Head of Media Service Planning Section KDDI. ‚ÄúHaving content available across multiple platforms is becoming a ‚Äėmust have‚Äô service for mobile operators and Saffron Digital‚Äôs 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 ‚Äď doing this allows us to securely broaden our subscriber base and open the door to a realm of new profitable applications.‚ÄĚ
Saffron Digital has been powering KDDI‚Äôs 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 KDDI‚Äôs 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 KDDI‚Äôs subscribers an even broader range of entertainment options.
‚ÄúWe 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,‚ÄĚ said Jason Keane, CEO Saffron Digital. ‚ÄúBy rolling out Video Pass on iOS devices and Smart TV Stick we‚Äôre 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.‚ÄĚ
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 Warner‚Äôs Media Lab ‚Äď the company‚Äôs impressive research center and Ivory Tower ‚Äď is using eye-tracking technology to determine how viewers use Second Screen apps in complement to actual TV Viewing. No, they won‚Äôt be sending 15 MM+ pairs of goggles home for toddlers across the US to destroy. Don‚Äôt worry.
In light of LOTS of ambiguity about the Second Screen¬†¬†‚Äď and, to bolster strategy around their recent funding of Social TV service Get Glue -¬† 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).
I‚Äôm sure I‚Äôll find the results interesting. But, here‚Äôs the thing ‚Äď the opportunity to monetize the Second Screen is moving faster than the speed of Academia. Companies investing in Second Screen initiatives ‚Äď and, that would be every company with media in its veins ‚Äď can‚Äôt wait for the results.
Here‚Äôs the good news. You don‚Äôt have to. Much of that data is already at your fingertips. Not to discount the Time Warner research ‚Äď in much the same way I wouldn‚Äôt discount third party enrichment data in general ‚Äď the fact is, if you have a Second Screen app (and I know you do!), you‚Äôve 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 ‚Äď or if I was, instead, scrambling to find Tina Fey‚Äôs¬† Jimmy Choo‚Äôs through the companion app. But, you‚Äôll be able to tell a whole lot about how, when, where and what I did with your app.
And, if you‚Äôre good, you‚Äôll be able to take that insight, and integrate it with what you know about my browsing behavior online. ¬†If you‚Äôre really good (and you would be, if you worked with a powerhouse like us, you‚Äôll 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 ‚Äď and one that doesn‚Äôt detract from the linear experience, I‚Äôd add. ¬†And, the value doesn‚Äôt stop at the Second Screen.¬† That same insight can be leveraged across your marketing organization.
I know how I‚Äôm using the Second Screen ‚Äď as my first. Cord-cutters unite! And, I‚Äôm 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.¬† 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 answers‚Ä¶ 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 MirrorLink‚ĄĘ global standards and solutions for smartphone and in-vehicle connectivity. Members are among the world‚Äôs 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 CCC‚Äôs stringent requirements and is now engaged in testing for companies seeking certification.
The CCC‚Äôs certification process and conformance test tools are relevant to software developers, as well as manufacturers and automakers, who are building applications within the vehicle‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúMeticulous product certification is one of the cornerstones of MirrorLink‚Äôs success,‚ÄĚ said Alan Ewing, Executive Director of the CCC. ‚ÄúOur certification guidelines ensure any product bearing the MirrorLink logo carries out the standard‚Äôs core duties ‚Äď 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.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWe are proud to be able to test and certify these new applications and products for the CCC,‚ÄĚ said Testronic Labs CTO Johan Craeybeckx. ‚ÄúThe 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.‚ÄĚ
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 testing¬†services to support their DoStudio‚ĄĘ Blu-ray Disc‚ĄĘ authoring platform.
The DoStudio line of software applications focuses on professional Blu-ray Disc‚ĄĘ creation. The software allows the user to create replication ready Blu-ray discs with interactive pop-up menus,¬†complex interactivity, and high definition quality video and audio. It does this with an intuitive point-and-click interface that doesn‚Äôt involve complex scripting. DoStudio provides an easy-to-understand workflow that results in masters that meets the Blu-ray¬†Disc‚ĄĘ 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 BluFocus‚Äô 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.
‚ÄúSony Creative Software‚Äôs 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 proper¬†verification of Blu-ray projects, ‚Äú said Dave Chaimson, VP Worldwide Marketing, Sony Creative Software.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre 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 independent¬†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,‚ÄĚ¬†said Paulette Pantoja, BluFocus CEO and Founder. ‚ÄúOur 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 before¬†they reach the market‚ÄĚ.
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.”
There‚Äôs 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 world‚Äôs 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 year‚Äôs 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 we‚Äôre 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: ¬†www.2ndscreensummit.com
With over 50 million albums sold since it‚Äôs 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 DADC‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúAs 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,‚ÄĚ said Sigi Obermayr, Vice President Sales at Sony DADC. ‚ÄúWe are proud that Ministry of Sound has selected us and we are looking forward to growing their business together.‚ÄĚ
Eddie Jones, Sales and Operations Director at Ministry of Sound said: ‚ÄúIt 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. ‚ÄĚ
Following up on last year‚Äôs 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
Here‚Äôs 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 O‚ÄôConnell, (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
Here‚Äôs what they‚Äôre 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
- There‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúapplications development.‚ÄĚ 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 we‚Äôre developing companion applications or a stand-alone experience, we really enjoy the liberation in creating features that aren‚Äôt 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 world‚Äôs big data at maximum speed,¬†today announced that Brown Bag Films,¬†Europe‚Äôs 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 ‚Äėhands-free‚Äô 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 Films‚Äô internally developed tools create a ‚Äėpackage‚Äô 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.
By Colleen Quinn
I‚Äôm happy to say that after nearly 40 years on this planet, I‚Äôve never truly known what it‚Äôs like to have a target on my back. Or, if anyone HAS ever been out to get me, they‚Äôve been sufficiently dulcet about it that I haven‚Äôt noticed.
I doubt that the Chiefs at the major MSOs can say the same. January saw two bold ‚Äúcable-killer‚ÄĚ pronouncements ‚Äď one from the ever-brazen Netflix CEO Reed Hastings ; the other from a far less likely culprit, Intel , whose plans to launch a next-gen set-top-box spins the tale of network unbundling. Um. And, I promise that I‚Äôll one day own a small island in the Caribbean.
But, I digress.
What‚Äôs common in both of these edicts ‚Äď aside from the same-old ‚Äúwe‚Äôre coming to get you‚ÄĚ message to MSOs ‚Äď is the emphasis on how these approaches appeal to what audiences expect in the brave new content world. They want:
‚ÄĘ Content now
‚ÄĘ Content that meets their interests
‚ÄĘ Content everywhere
Duh. That‚Äôs old news. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs TV Everywhere,‚ÄĚ shouts the Cable Chief in response. Sort of.
MediaSilo, a provider of cloud-based media workflow and collaboration solutions, today announced the appointment of Matt Thomas as the company’s head of sales. In this newly created position, Thomas is responsible for building and managing the MediaSilo sales team, as well as for account management for the western United States.
“Matt’s experience both in media technology sales and in film production gives him valuable insight into how our solutions can help creative professionals maximize the time they spend on creative work,” said Kai Pradel, CEO at MediaSilo. “As our business continues to grow, Matt’s understanding of the industry will ensure that we are positioned to help our customers meet increased demand for content without making a costly investment in complex on-premise technology.”
Thomas joins MediaSilo with more than 15 years of experience in media technology and entertainment. Most recently he served as corporate account manager at Signiant, where he was pivotal in expanding the company’s footprint in the western United States and in managing relationships with many of the world’s largest media brands. In an earlier role at SmartJog, Thomas was a sales executive and account manager for North America, South America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to his work in media technology, Thomas spent years in film and television production. His producing credits include “Raise Your Voice” for New Line Cinema and “Let’s Love Hate,” Shia LaBeouf’s writing and directing debut.
“I’m thrilled to be joining MediaSilo at such a pivotal time in the evolution of the media space,” said Thomas. “As media companies and creative executives look to the cloud for improved efficiency and operational value, it’s exciting to be part a solution designed from the ground up by media professionals for media professionals.
MediaSilo is innately attuned to the unique needs of its customers, and this is apparent in the immediate, game-changing impact its technology has on companies ranging from small creative houses and productions to large media enterprises and corporate brands.”
Thomas is based in Los Angeles and reports directly to Pradel.
A newly-formed affiliate of the Najafi Companies, Cinram Group Inc., (CGI) has closed on its acquisition of Cinram‚Äôs European operations. Cinram, based in Toronto, is one of the largest manufacturers and distributor of optical discs including Blu-ray, DVD and CD. Terms were not disclosed.
Najafi completed its acquisition of Cinram‚Äôs North American operations in late 2012. CGI is a recently created affiliate of Najafi Companies that will continue to operate under the Cinram name offering innovative manufacturing, packaging and distribution of movies, music, games and books.
CEO Jahm Najafi said Cinram complements other current Najafi entertainment-related investments including Direct Brands, Inc., one of the largest direct-to-consumer distributors of media products in the U.S. including music, DVD and book club brands.
Najafi also acquired DirectGroup France, an investment that includes retail, book clubs, e-books and an online portal for the purchase of books and DVD products.
Cinram CEO Steve Brown said ‚Äúthe closing of this transaction brings the significant resources of Cinram Europe into the new company, where it will benefit from a vastly improved financial position, along with the experience and expertise of Mr. Najafi and his team. Under the leadership of Neil Ballantine, this solid foundation will provide our European management team with an opportunity to grow the business with renewed confidence.‚ÄĚ
HP Enterprise Services and NASCAR today unveiled the NASCAR Fan and Media Engagement Center (FMEC), a business solution designed to better serve NASCAR‚Äôs industry, media, fans and sponsors by facilitating real-time response to traditional, digital, broadcast and social media.
The FMEC, the culmination of a collaboration between NASCAR and HP announced in June, leverages HP‚Äôs broad portfolio of services and solutions including: business solution design and implementation services, servers, displays and Autonomy software to provide an integrated solution only HP can deliver. This solution helps NASCAR analyze fan sentiment, identify emerging issues and discover topic trends for instantly actionable insights. Based on that, NASCAR and its partners will be not only better informed to take advantage of local and national coverage opportunities, but also able to conduct regular media analysis to help shape business practices.
‚ÄúThe Fan and Media Engagement Center will serve as a showpiece of NASCAR‚Äôs strategic technology vision,‚ÄĚ said Steve Phelps, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, NASCAR. ‚ÄúWe believe this center will be the best of its kind in sports. Thanks to HP‚Äôs consultative approach to our vision and their technology, software and services, NASCAR will be able to provide added value to our fans and industry.‚ÄĚ…
By Paulette Pantoja
What drives the adoption of a technology or an application? Is it the breakthrough and innovative advancements that the technical gurus come up with? Or is it the large budgets and the creativity that are put into the marketing and advertising of the product to gain mass awareness?
Both of these are key since they bring interest and enthusiasm to a user. But, even though these approaches bring initial interest, without the main ingredient, they will fail to retain consumers. A vital missing piece will keep consumers from using the product over and over again, and they will not be inclined to tell their friends and family about it. What is that main ingredient?¬†It is a focus on the USER EXPERIENCE. Without that emphasis, it doesn‚Äôt matter how technically advanced, innovative or complex an application or technology is. If the user doesn‚Äôt like it, it won‚Äôt succeed after the initial buzz.
Consumers today are more about convenience than quality.¬†We see this now more than ever. People are satisfied with MP3 audio, streaming movies, watching shows on smartphones, etc. So, how does this affect the home entertainment products released in the market today?¬†Is focus more on the user experience in terms of simplicity, ease of use and accessibility?¬†Or is it on creating multifaceted applications to push the abilities of technologies and utilize all of their capabilities?¬†And which are we paying more attention to? Unless a consumer fully adopts a technology, it cannot succeed, thus, it is imperative to pay attention to these questions and why consumers gravitate towards one technology and not the other.
MESA and Variety were proud to host an invitation-only luncheon at International CES last week entitled: Advertising Re-Imagined: New Technologies That Will Make Your Creative Smarter.¬† Sponsored by Doubleclick and Google, the session addressed questions like: What are the new technologies that are transforming the way creatives explore, suggest and execute innovative campaigns for their clients and brands? What new technology platforms are creative technologists embracing to bring their ideas to life? How is the 2nd screen offering a wider palette for creative development? And what‚Äôs new at Int‚Äôl CES that will impact agency work in the years ahead?
Keynoter was Peter Crofut, head of Creative Platforms Strategy, Google who showed how creatives have reimagined the classic Alka-Seltzer “I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole Thing” campaign for the mobile/digital age.
The presentation was followed by a panel featuring: Pete Deutschman, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, The Buddy Group; David Payne, Chief Digital Officer, Gannett Co.; and Julian Zilberbrand, Senior Vice President,¬†Global Digital Director Strategic Partnerships, Technology Activation Group, Starcom MediaVest Group. The moderator was Jay VanDerzee, Head of Sales, Media Platforms, Google.
To listen to the audio from these sessions and view Crofut’s Powerpoint click here: http://mesalliance.org/brand-matters-luncheon/
At the 2nd Screen Summit at International CES today, 2nd Screen Society Chairman Chuck Parker introduced data and details from his new research study: “The 2nd Screen: Transforming Video Consumption.”¬† The 250-page document surveys the current state and five-year projections for this emerging marketplace, which the researchers estimate as a $490 million market today and expect to reach $5.9 billion by 2017.
Created by The Intersection, a research company owned by Parker and TV technology executive Renaud Fuchs, and published by the 2nd Screen Society, the report presents both the global market size and segmentation of the hundreds of consumer facing apps in the market place, the build-up of the market sizing, a deep-dive on the technology driving this space, the latest trends and case studies on the leading apps in the market. Additionally, the report will cover how consumers are using their 2nd screens as 1st screens both in and out of the living room, as TV Everywhere strategies come into full effect in the consumer market place.
“With 35 million tablets sold during the holiday season in 2012 and an estimated 40% of all television viewers now enhancing the experience with a 2nd screen, this is clearly the trend to watch for 2013,” Parker explains.¬† “What can you expect to see in 2nd screen developments in 2013 and who are the current leaders?¬† How will the giants of today‚Äôs video industry respond to this challenge?¬† We answer these questions and more in this report.”
The in-depth study covers everything you need to know about 2nd screen:
- The technology status and future developments: how ACR and the ‚Äúsystem level‚ÄĚ 2nd screen platform from Xbox SmartGlass will have significant impact on the marketplace
- A segmentation of the market and a scoring of hundreds of companion apps: that are used to control, discover, enhance, share and multi-task.
- An analysis of the players in the ecosystem: why studios and TV shows focus on enhancement and pay TV operators focus on control.
- A full-blown usage analysis, business models and market sizing with detailed data to 2017.
- A detailed review of the Top 50 apps: ¬†what works and what doesn‚Äôt and identifying key feature sets
- A detailed look at trends and future state of the 2nd screen market
- An 18-month detailed forecast:¬† describing trends we believe will have a short-term impact on this emerging marketplace for applications and 2nd-screen technologies.
- A deep review of second screen as a viewing device
For more information about the research study visit: www.2ndscreensociety.com/research.
The 2nd Screen Society represents over 40 technology leaders who are committed to collectively advancing the creation, production and adoption of content applications, devices and distribution systems within the new 2nd Screen Engagement Ecosystem.¬† The Society is managed on behalf of its members by MESA, the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance.
To find out more about the Report and the Society contact Chuck Parker at: Chuck@MESAlliance.org
By Colleen Quinn
What with the failed Mayan apocalypse and all, I‚Äôve been stuck reminiscing about the end of the world as we know it , at least in the Media & Entertainment industry as we know it today.
Don‚Äôt worry, I won‚Äôt be too poignant. (Though, I will mention that 2012 was a year of mighty change for me with the doubling the little boy brood in our household. Yikes.) But, I would like to recap a year of mighty change in our business.¬† We‚Äôve all been at this long enough to know that this shift has been shifting for a long time ‚Äď but, 2012 seemed to bring with it a recognition on all fronts that these changes were nothing temporary,¬† and that old ways of doing business were just that, old ways of doing business. ‚ÄúEvolve or die baby‚ÄĚ said some music industry executive somewhere.
So, let‚Äôs hit a few of the high points ‚Äď
- Netflix Didn‚Äôt Die ‚Äď Streaming services, like Netflix, continued to grow, despite what seemed like their own efforts at self-sabotage. (Recall the great¬† Netflix PR debacle of late 2011).¬† Hulu crested the $700 million mark in revenue; and Amazon got even more serious with Prime. This is to say nothing of the widening net of TV Everywhere offers from cable providers, and the lingering promise of the Verizon/Redbox JV. The options to consume lots of great content continue to grow ‚Äď with rates far undercutting those of traditional cable. Cord-nevers are on the rise.
The Content Protection Summit, produced by Variety and CDSA, has announced the addition of new speakers, presentations and panels to finalize its conference program for next week’s event on December 6 at the Los Angeles Hilton in Universal City, CA.¬† The speakers will be addressing over 200 leading content protection and security experts from the studios, game publishers, software and music industries at this core entertainment industry meeting.
Keynotes for this year’s Summit feature a conversation with Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA);¬† and a keynote by General James Cartwright,¬†Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies,¬†Center for Strategic and International on National Security and the Unsettled Internet
The new Copyright Alerts System, a system aimed at educating Internet subscribers about digital copyright and the potential consequences of inadvertent or purposeful copyright violations through peer-to-peer networks, will be discussed by Marianne Grant, Senior Vice President, Motion Picture Association of America
Technology strategies for protecting content and growing the Home Entertainment business will be discussed by a panel including: Jackie Hayes, Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Legal and Business Affairs, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment; Bill Mandel, Vice President, Technology & Digital Platforms, Universal Pictures; and Mitch Singer, Chief Digital Strategy Officer, Sony Pictures Entertainment
This session will be followed by a showcase of content protection innovations by Akamai Technologies, Deloitte, Fortium Technologies, HCL America, and Verance Corporation.
To view the complete conference program visit: www.contentprotectionsummit.com
Limited sponsorship opportunities are available¬† by contacting: Guy Finley at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sony DADC Manufacturing India Pvt. Ltd. Appoints Rajat Kakar as Business Head of Home Entertainment Services
Sony DADC, a market leader in manufacturing, physical and digital supply chain services to the international home entertainment market, has announced the appointment of Rajat Kakar as Business Head of Home Entertainment Services by Sony DADC Manufacturing India Pvt. Ltd.
Almost two years ago, Sony DADC proudly opened a major new state-of-the-art manufacturing, digital service and distribution facility in Navi Mumbai, India. In support of the vast and fast-moving Indian market, Sony DADC has in addition taken on the role of a local content licensee, to support the growth efforts of the major studios and content owners in this region. With this service, Sony DADC is laying the foundation for a professional and responsive, sales and distribution infrastructure in emerging markets such as India, expanding the range of options that content owners have to monetize the vast opportunities that exist in entering and sustaining these markets. The first two major studios to already leverage the Sony DADC licensee model in India are Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE).
‚ÄúWe are delighted to welcome such an experienced person as Rajat on board. With his comprehensive understanding of publisher needs and the retail landscape, he will play a major role in Sony DADC‚Äôs move towards becoming an end to end supply chain service company,‚ÄĚ said Chris Reiser, EVP Sony DADC International. ‚ÄúI am more than excited to join this team and delighted to be mandated with setting up a state of the art, sales, marketing and distribution entity which will maximize sales growth for the international studios as well as for local content holders,‚ÄĚ commented Rajat Kakar.
Rajat was previously Managing Director of Universal Music in India. In his new role he will be based in Mumbai and will work closely with international and Indian content holders and help shape the traditional and emerging retail landscape for Home Entertainment in India.
Core to the conference program at this year’s Content Protection Summit, produced by Variety and CDSA, are a series of panels and presentations offering proven and effective strategies to protect against rapidly evolving piracy and cyber-attack threats. The event is being held at the Los Angeles Hilton in Universal City on Dec. 6.
These workshops, panels and presentations supplement the Summit’s high-profile keynotes by MPAA Chairman and CEO, Senator Christopher J. Dodd, and General (Ret) James Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies
The program will open with two, unique views on “Going After the Money,” as lessons learned from the software industry.¬† Richard Atkinson, Corporate Director, Worldwide Anti-Piracy, Adobe and former Summit Conference Chair will detail the work he is doing to grow their legitimate customer base through conversion from ‚Äúpirate to pay‚ÄĚ.¬† Meanwhile, Peter Anaman, Digital Anti-Piracy Program Manager, Microsoft Law and Corporate Affairs, will address how they’re mitigating profit-driven online threats by unauthorized content hosting and distribution sites that generate revenue through advertising and paid memberships.
Technology strategies for protecting content while growing the home entertainment business will be addressed by Mark Hall, Vice President, Content Protection, Paramount Pictures and Mitch Singer, Chief Digital Strategy Officer, Sony Pictures Entertainment.¬† The new markets of mobile entertainment pose increased piracy risks while they also open new business opportunities for the studios.¬† Additionally, representatives from Deluxe, Akamai, Irdeto, Deloitte, Fortium, HCL and Verance will demonstrate new anti-piracy and content protection technologies as well as their views on technology as it drives industry evolution.
A central strategy to preventing costly pre-release breaches has been industry-wide site auditing and vendor certification programs.¬† A multi-industry panel discussion, being led by Bryan Ellenburg, Vice President, Content Protection Technology, Paramount Pictures, will address the future of auditing, certification programs and site security training. Panelists include:¬† Bob Eicholz, Senior Vice President of IT Architecture & Security, Deluxe;¬† Spencer Mott, Chief Information Security Officer, Electronic Arts; and Wynn Rees, Vice President, Content Security, Twentieth Century Fox.
This year’s event sponsors include Deluxe, Akamai, Irdeto, Deloitte, HCL, Cinram, Fortium, Verance, HP and PirateEye.
For ongoing updates about the conference program visit:¬†¬†www.contentprotectionsummit.com
Follow our conference news and conversations on twitter using¬†#contentprotection.
The 2012 Summer Olympics in London were the most widely streamed live event in television history. On Thursday, the BBC’s Jem Rayfield joins¬†MarkLogic‚Äôs Chief Content Specialist Diane Burley and her colleague Matt Turner, CTO of Media, for a one-hour webinar to discuss how the U.K. broadcaster prepared for event and executed on its plan.
Learn what it took to migrate the BBC Future Media department from a relational content model and static publishing framework to a fully dynamic semantic publishing (DSP) architecture. The dynamic semantic publishing architecture underpins the recently re-launched and refreshed BBC Sports site and indeed the BBC’s Olympics 2012 online content. Other topics to be covered include:
- The BBC dramatically increased the breadth and depth of its content with a dynamic approach to webpage creation WHILE dramatically improving the efficiency of the editorial teams to create and manage pages
- Live interactive statistics improved the online streaming experience
- Editorial teams can focus on creating versus managing content
- A Big Data platform allows the BBC to unify storage of all content data types including news, real-time data feeds and stats, user generated content and rich media metadata
The webinar starts at 8:00 am PT/11:00 am ET. Registration is available here.
Xytech, the global leader in facility management software for the broadcast and media services industries, has announced the expansion of East Coast services and their staff on both coasts. The growth of the company‚Äôs New York team is driven by Xytech‚Äôs continued success in the Broadcasting space.
Todd Avenarius now leads the implementation of sales strategy for the company across the Americas and APAC in his new role as Director of Sales. Located in the company‚Äôs Los Angeles office, Avenarius brings over 15 years of advanced strategic thinking in sales, sales operations, team development, and communications to his new role at Xytech. In recent months a number of new sales have been completed, including several in Australia and New Zealand. On Avenarius‚Äô hire, Xytech COO Greg Dolan commented, ‚ÄúI am absolutely delighted that Todd has joined our team. I consider him one of the best in the business. His relationships, track record, and innovative thinking are all incredible assets to us as Xytech continues to expand globally.‚ÄĚ
To keep pace with the unprecedented growth of its Eastern US operations, Xytech has added to its team and increased responsibilities of key staffers there. Jim Hegarty, Principal Consultant, has expanded duties that now give him primary responsibility for managing client implementations and service deliveries for the region. He has been a key member of the team for the past five years, and joined Xytech from Ford. Olga Djomparin and Michele Rey are the newest members of Xytech‚Äôs East Coast team, leading project management and customer service for the area.
Dolan noted, ‚ÄúWe have seen a major escalation of our New York business over the course of the past year, and that has played directly into the company‚Äôs overall strategy of delivering strong earnings and growth in the broadcast and media services sectors of our business. In order to maintain our dominant position in the market, we must continue to deliver innovative products, exceed the expectations of our customers, and attract great people. Our East Coast team, under strong leadership from Jim, works closely with our major clients in New York and beyond. Olga and Michele bring seasoned project management focus to the team, and we see our outstanding service as a crucial differentiator.‚ÄĚ
Recent MediaPulse installations in the New York area include major networks, managed video service providers, cable companies, and satellite operators. Xytech‚Äôs MediaPulse platform is a comprehensive and feature-rich resource, work order and asset management solution that offers a full suite of planning, scheduling and financial management tools.
The Application Developers Alliance received hundreds of submissions to the first-ever Entertainment App Awards. An internal committee selected three finalists in each of ten categories. The finalists will be evaluated on innovation, design, usability, fit and overall experience. Winners will be recognized at an awards dinner on November 29, 2012 in Los Angeles following the Variety Entertainment Apps Conference.
1¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Best Second Screen TV App: ConnecTV; Discovery Channel HD (Bottle Rocket Apps); The Walking Dead Story Sync (AMC)
2¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Best Smart TV App: Pandora; Hulu Plus; HBO Go (HBO)
3¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Mobile Innovation Award for Social TV App: Showtime Sync (Showtime Networks, Inc.); Discovery Channel HD (Bottle Rocket Apps); DJ Pauly D, Beat that Boardwalk (MEDL Mobile)
4¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Best Technology in Social and Interactive TV: ConnecTV; Showtime Sync (Showtime Networks, Inc.); MobiTV
5¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Best App Supporting a Film Launch: Fix-It Felix (Disney Interactive); My Wild Night With Ted (MEDL Mobile for Universal Pictures); Happy Feet Two: The Penguin App (1K Studios for Warner Bros. Pictures)
6¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Best Entertainment IP-based Mobile Game: The Hunger Games Adventures (Funtactix Inc. for Lionsgate); VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables (Thruster Apps); The Walking Dead: The Game (Telltale Games for AMC)
7¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Best Social Discovery App: NextGuide (Dijit Media, Inc.); Fandango Mobile App; Showtime Sync (Showtime Networks, Inc.)
8¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Best Music App: Spotify; Shazam; iHeartRadio (Clear Channel Media and Entertainment)
9¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Best Kids Entertainment App: FRANKENWEENIE-FY YOUR PET (Watson DG); Skylanders Giants (Toys for Bob, Activision Publishing); Draw Along Pip (Skyreader Media)
10¬†¬†¬† Entertainment App Developer of the Year 2012: Watson DG; Bottle Rocket Apps; Activision Publishing
The Application Developers Alliance selected a panel of judges to determine the winners. The hand-selected panel includes representatives from Mobile Deluxe, Neustar, AppStori, Distimo, Bunchball, Kid Tech Columnist, USA Today.com and Gannett News, Digital Mind State, SleepyGiant and Google TV. Celebrity host and special guest appearance to be announced next week.
The Entertainment Apps Conference + Awards are sponsored by Distimo, The Echo Nest, Tapjoy, Newvue, 1K Studios, Mobile Deluxe, Medl Mobile, 2013 International CES, Parks Associates and SAG-AFTRA.
More information can be found online at www.variety.com/entertainmentapps.
Rimage Corporation, the leader in secure multimedia content management and delivery solutions, today announced the launch of the Producer IV Series, the fourth generation of Rimage‚Äôs flagship disc publishing systems. Producer IV combines an updated sleek design with an array of powerful internal upgrades, including up to 2 TB of storage and an Intel Core i5 Processor.¬† Rimage also announced the launch of the Prism III printer, a redesign of the successful Rimage Prism thermal printer platform.
‚ÄúThe redesign of the Producer Series demonstrates Rimage‚Äôs commitment to our disc publishing business and to our customers,‚ÄĚ said Sherman Black, CEO of Rimage.¬† ‚ÄúIn the past two months, we have refreshed our entire line of Desktop, Professional and Producer-class products.‚ÄĚ
Additional new features of the Producer 8200N, 7200N and 6200N models include:
- Rimage Software Suite v8.6
- RAID 5 storage for OS and software
- RAID 0 storage for working files
- 8 GB RAM
- 100 disc external output bin
- Integrated DiscWatchTM status light
- USB 3 ports and a front USB 2 port
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve been using the Producer IV system for several weeks now and are very impressed with its performance and reliability,‚ÄĚ said Sean Perillo, president of DupeShop (www.dupeshop.com), a CD/DVD/Blu-ray Disc duplication and replication service provider.¬† ‚ÄúThe system looks great, and the external output bin increases our disc capacity. The Producer IV has exceeded our expectations.‚ÄĚ
Rimage Producer IV Series disc publishing systems are the industry standard for producing professional CD, DVD and Blu-ray DiscsTM.¬† Producer IV systems come with a choice of Rimage‚Äôs industry-leading print technologies: Everest 600 for vibrant, permanent color; or the new Prism III for high-volume disc printing at the lowest cost.¬† Like all Rimage systems, they are powered by the Rimage Software Suite v.8.6 – leveraging decades of expert software development and system integration.
Additional information can be found at www.rimage.com/products/producer-series.html.
Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice-Chairman Gen. James Cartright to Keynote 3rd Annual Content Protection Summit
The Third Annual Content Protection Summit (CPS), produced by Variety and the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), today announced that Former Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James Cartwright,¬† will be a featured keynote at the December 6 Summit at the Los Angeles Hilton Hotel in Universal City, California.
His speech, “National Security and the Unsettled Internet” will address how the United States and other countries are addressing the challenges of cybersecurity and how those plans and policies may have an impact on the future of content, commerce, communications and culture online. Cartwright, who now serves as the Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, will discuss plausible U.S. military roles and missions in cyberspace and how national security priorities might affect the future of cyberspace itself.
“The Internet grew out of communications capabilities and infrastructure originally established as tools of national defense, The Internet and cyberspace are now among the most challenging and imminent national security priorities facing the United States and the international community,” Cartwright explains.
Cartwright joins Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, as a Summit keynoter.¬† Senator Dodd is charged with advocating for the film, home entertainment and television industries around the world. The MPAA represents one of the most creative, productive and powerful industries in America ‚Äď one that supports 2.1 million creators and makers in every state and particularly in California.
Both keynotes are highlights in a day-long, deep dive into the latest innovations, findings and effective forms of deterrence in the protection of the creative products of leading movie, game, music and software companies.
The event, themed ‚ÄúInnovation and Insights in Content Security,‚ÄĚ is being chaired by Industry Consultant Alex Kochis who adds: “As the entertainment industry accelerates toward online services and digital products, we are experiencing a ‚Äėperfect storm‚Äô of threats to our business. Yet it is also a time of vast opportunity, disruptive business models, and remarkable innovation.¬† This conference has always kept the industry‚Äôs leading practitioners on the cutting edge of the most effective best practices and engineered solutions and we are especially proud this year to have General Cartwright and Senator Dodd lead our industry discussion.‚ÄĚ
Also topics to be discussed at the conference include:
- Going After the Money: Mitigating Profit-Driven Online Threats
- Content Security in the Social Cloud
- Meet the Gatekeepers: The Role of Hollywood IT in Content Security
- The Meaning of Copyrights in Today‚Äôs Interconnected, Multi-Screen World
- Exclusive Content Protection 2012 Research from Carnegie Mellon
- Certifying for the Future: Is There a Better Way to Handle Security Audits?
- Hack it! How Hackers Feed fans and Undermine the Franchise
- Innovations in Anti-Piracy Technology and Solutions
Scheduled speakers include executives from some of the largest entertainment and technology companies in the world including Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Paramount Pictures, and Walt Disney Studios among others.
For ongoing updates about the conference program visit:¬†http://www.contentprotectionsummit.com/2012/
On December 3, MESA and Variety will present Forecast: Hollywood a unique half-day seminar packed with data, forecasts and expert opinion on what’s trending in M&E, what’s new, and what’s around the corner.
The four-hour program will feature industry analysts, consultants and senior studio executives in a lightning round of presentations and conversation on critical issues facing M&E decision makers:
- 2013 Entertainment Industry Outlook:¬†Film, TV & Home Entertainment
- Does Disc + Digital Add Up?
- Inside the Head of Today‚Äôs Digital Media and¬†Entertainment Consumer
- Are We Being Watched? Mobile and Home Viewing Trends
Forecast: Hollywood will be held at the landmark Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. For more information and to register, visit¬†http://mesalliance.org/forecast2013/.
The trend toward stabilizing consumer spending on home entertainment seen through the first half of 2012 continued through the third quarter, according to data released by the Digital Entertainment Group.
Total consumer spending for the period rose 0.24% to $3.94 billion, the third straight quarter in which growth has been flat or positive after nearly three years of steadily declining spending. The data suggest home entertainment spending has found the bottom of its downturn and the pieces may now be falling into place for at least modest recovery.
While packaged-goods sell-through overall was down 4.0% for the quarter, and is down 3.76% for the year to date, spending on Blu-ray Discs was up nearly 13% compared to the same period last year. Spending on electronics sell-through was up nearly 38% for the quarter.
- ¬†Consumers are embracing the expansion of digital products and services. UltraViolet registrations have surpassed six million. UltraViolet continues rolling out to other countries, with Canada scheduled in the fourth quarter.
- Video-on-Demand spending climbed more than 8.4 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period in 2011.
- Sales of Catalog titles on Blu-ray Disc grew 22 percent in Q3 from a year earlier. In fact, sales of catalog titles on Blu-ray have shown impressive gains every quarter in 2012, continuing the trend set in 2011, when sales were up 20 percent, underscoring how consumers have embraced Blu-ray as the standard for quality movie viewing in the home.
- To that end, the infrastructure of Blu-ray homes continues to climb, with 2.8 million Blu-ray Disc players (including BD set-tops, PS3s and HTiBs) sold in the third quarter, up 5 percent from a year earlier. Total household penetration of all Blu-ray compatible devices now stands at close to 50 million U.S. homes.
- ¬†In the third quarter, 7.8 million HDTVs were sold to U.S. consumers. HDTV penetration to date is now at more than 101 million U.S. households.
More details from the report are available from the DEG website, at www.degonline.org
By Lyndsey Schaefer
Saffron Digital (SD), one of the global leaders in multi-DRM and online video platforms for the digital entertainment industry, just announced the appointment of Amelia Gammon as its Chief Commercial Officer.
Reporting directly to Saffron Digital CEO Jason Keane, Gammon will be responsible for Saffron Digital‚Äôs commercial strategy and development. In her new role, Gammon will also help mold the company‚Äôs sales, marketing, product strategy and customer services. She will be responsible for aligning the functions of the business to meet Saffron Digital‚Äôs commercial objectives, in order to grow market share and further drive international expansion.
Gammon previously held senior executive level positions at both 20th Century Fox and NBC Universal. She is a widely respected for her depth of industry knowledge and expertise on mobile, new media, and digital distribution and is a regular panelist on industry debate. Gammon is featured as one of the Top 50 women in Mobile Content.
‚ÄúThe appointment of someone of Amelia‚Äôs calibre is yet another example of how Saffron Digital is attracting the best people in the industry to provide the best service to our clients. Amelia‚Äôs knowledge of content, particularly mobile delivery and her authority within the industry further enhance our position as one of the world‚Äôs leading end-to-end DRM Video Solutions,‚ÄĚ Keane says.
‚ÄúSaffron Digital has been at the forefront of content delivery across multiple platforms for a number of years and with the dawn of UltraViolet on the horizon, they are perfectly placed to take a leading role. It is fantastic to join such an experienced and skilled team and I am looking forward to the challenge of pushing the company onwards,‚ÄĚ Gammon says.
Saffron Digital also recently announced that Yoel Marson has joined its leadership team as Chief Technology Officer, where he will direct the company‚Äôs technology strategy, steer the development of new client solutions and bolster existing offerings with enhanced capability. Marson was previously Director of Engineering of Yahoo Answers. In this new position, he‚Äôll push Saffron Digital‚Äôs capabilities forward to create pioneering features and original user experiences.
Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) President and CEO Crossan ‚ÄúBo‚ÄĚ Andersen has decided to retire, effective November 15, 2012. The announcement was made by EMA Chair Bob Geistman.
Following Andersen‚Äôs decision, the Board appointed Mark Fisher, Executive Vice President of the Association, to serve as Interim President until an executive search is completed and a permanent successor is in place.
Bo Andersen joined what was then the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) in 1995 as Vice President and General Counsel. He was appointed President in 1999 and subsequently was named President & CEO.
‚ÄúAfter more than 13 years as CEO of this outstanding organization, I have decided that now is the right time for the Association to transition to new leadership,‚ÄĚ Andersen said. ‚ÄúEMA is exceptionally well positioned to assist its members in responding to the newest challenges in retailing home entertainment. I am delighted with the Board‚Äôs decision to appoint Mark Fisher as Interim President and am truly grateful for the unwavering support and friendship of my colleagues at EMA for these many years.‚ÄĚ
Bob Geistman, Board Chairman of EMA noted, ‚ÄúWe are sorry that Bo will be leaving EMA, but respect his desire to retire and thank him for his exemplary leadership of the Association. He has managed EMA with skill, integrity, and vision during a period of enormous transition in home entertainment, and all of us in the industry are beneficiaries of his efforts.‚ÄĚ
When Andersen became President, VSDA was focused on independent video rental stores. Andersen led the transformation of the association to one that represents a broad segment of the entire home entertainment industry, encompassing major multi-line retailers, video specialty retailers, online video subscription services, video kiosk operators, video game retailers, and electronic sell-through and streaming retailers. In 2006 he accomplished the merger of VSDA with the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association, the trade association for video game retailers, which led to the creation of EMA.
Andersen also kept EMA in the forefront of protection of the right to resell and rent home entertainment, fighting video piracy, and protecting consumer privacy. In addition, he was instrumental in battling censorship of home entertainment products. Notably, he oversaw the Association‚Äôs involvement in nine legal challenges to state and local laws that attempted to restrict minors‚Äô access to violent video games. That effort successfully culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, which firmly established First Amendment protection for video games.
Signiant, the market leader in intelligent file movement software for media and entertainment, announced that stationEX of Toronto is using Signiant’s award-winning Media Shuttle desktop file transfer software as an integral part of its new, long-form video content delivery service for broadcasters and post-production professionals. With video and film creators embracing the Internet as a smarter approach to content delivery than physical shipments of HDDs, Media Shuttle gives stationEX the ability to move large volumes of video content quickly, easily and securely — with a flexible subscription-based model that allows the firm to pay as it grows.
Founded in June 2012, stationEX addresses the high-end, long form delivery market where massive client project files, often exceeding 100 GB, can bring conventional file transfer technologies to their knees. As a result, broadcasters are forced to ship storage ‘bricks’ or disks containing files to colleagues — imposing two- to three-day delays for shipments that go internationally, while racking up project costs.
“We surveyed every corner of the market and Signiant’s Media Shuttle was the standout solution among available accelerated file transfer options,” said James Murday, General Manager of stationEX. “It is as easy to use as email and provides the level of speed and reliability our business depends on. Just last week our team used Media Shuttle to send a 74GB broadcast-resolution file from Toronto to Eastern Europe in under two hours over the Internet — this phenomenal speed lets us deliver on our promise of same-day delivery anywhere in the developed world.”
The newest addition to Signiant’s software products suite, Media Shuttle provides an effective alternative to FTP with file transfer speed up to 200X faster, while delivering the ease of use of consumer-based file sharing solutions, but without file size limits or associated security risks. Users simply access Media Shuttle through a powerfully simple cloud-based interface, while assets remain securely stored on the customer’s network. Onboard Checkpoint Restart features assure file delivery by automatically restarting transfers if they become interrupted.
“A surprising number of broadcast teams still deliver project files via overnight couriers, eliminating many of the time- and cost-saving advantages of file-based workflows,” said Rick Cramer, Senior Vice President of Global Operations, Signiant. “There is just no easier, more affordable or reliable way to move large media files than Media Shuttle. We are delighted to welcome stationEX to our growing list of Media Shuttle customers, and look forward to helping others in the media and entertainment industry realize the benefits of fast file transfer at the user level.”
Signiant will be showcasing Media Shuttle this week at the SMPTE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition, Loews Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood, CA.
Brevity Announces Death of President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy O‚ÄôBrien, Media & Entertainment Veteran and Visionary
Brevity Ventures Inc. announced yesterday that Timothy O‚ÄôBrien, its President and Chief Executive Officer, has passed away after a sudden diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
Kevin Norris has been named Brevity‚Äôs interim CEO to lead the company during this transition. Norris had been working closely with O‚ÄôBrien since earlier this year and was planning to join Brevity in November as a senior executive.
‚ÄúTim was truly one-of-a-kind. He was a passionate and brilliant man who shared and shaped the vision of what Brevity has become.¬†Whether he was part of our life as a leader, adviser, mentor, or close¬†friend, his honesty, standards and respect for others were an inspiration to us all,‚ÄĚ says Norris.
‚ÄúTim committed everything to Brevity and more than once he said that this was the opportunity he had been waiting for, for his entire career. He strongly believed in every aspect of this company and has ingrained¬†in all of us¬†the entrepreneurial spirit and operational experience that has led Brevity to its current stage of evolution, growth and overall success,‚ÄĚ says Brevity Co-Founder Jacob Bronstein.
O‚ÄôBrien started at Brevity in May 2011 after decades of experience in start-ups and major companies. Previously, he was Vice President, Video Services, for Yahoo! In this role, O‚ÄôBrien was responsible for the delivery of creative and professional services required for Yahoo! and its global partners to monetize video programs for a range of online platforms and devices. Prior to Yahoo, O‚ÄôBrien was Vice President of Media Services at Maven Networks (which was acquired by Yahoo! in early 2008). O‚ÄôBrien also previously served as a Partner in IBM Global Services’ Media and Entertainment industry practice in North America as well as three years in Japan, where he was responsible for more than $100 million annually in Asia Pacific region digital media services engagements.
Timothy was a graduate of Stanford University.
“To those associated with Brevity, as well as the many people who personally knew Timothy, his wisdom, generosity, integrity and leadership will be greatly missed,”¬†says Bronstein.
O‚ÄôBrien is survived by his wife Monika Fimpel.
Testronic Labs – the global leader in quality assurance services for film and television, games, websites, hardware, and software – has announced that Scott McDonald has been named Business Line Manager for the Software Division. In his role, he will lead software testing, and develop and manage the technical testing teams for the division. He is also spearheading the Intelligent Mobile Compatibility Initiative.
McDonald brings a deep bench of experience to his new role. He joined Testronic with a diverse background in both the private and government sectors, with experience in digital media, e-commerce, payments, contracts and healthcare. He has been working in software testing roles since 2005, and possesses expertise in the technical aspects of system, functional, and automated testing. Prior to joining Testronic, he was a test consultant for Test Partners Ltd., based in London, UK, where he was responsible for the exploratory and automation testing of dozens of web-based applications. ¬†McDonald is responsible for Testronic Labs‚Äô software services in the UK, and developed its technical testing team.
McDonald has been instrumental in the development of the Testronic Intelligent Mobile Compatibility testing service (IMC), which is one of the most forward-thinking software service offerings in the industry. As the proliferation of mobile devices grows to cover every aspect of enterprise and entertainment, Testronic has led the way with its IMC initiatives, empowering powerful and functional mobile software deployment. This innovative new offering cuts out the bulk testing of mobile devices and tablets by streamlining the process with no compromise of results.
McDonald noted, ‚ÄúI have worked in testing and quality assurance for my entire career, and it is exciting to join a company that honestly takes a forward view, and is leading the industry in development and testing across the entire spectrum of content. From the software testing team through our groundbreaking work with IMC, I am delighted to be part of Testronic and look forward to continuing our expansion of the software division.‚ÄĚ
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced today a realignment of the division‚Äôs marketing management under President and Chief Marketing Officer of Worldwide Marketing Mary Daily to promote further growth, creativity and integration of strategic initiatives across all current and emerging platforms worldwide.
Effective immediately, Vincent Marcais has been promoted to the role of Executive Vice President, Worldwide Brand Marketing. Marcais previously served as Senior Vice President of International Marketing.
James Finn has been promoted to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Worldwide Communications, Media and Partnerships. Finn will expand his domestic responsibilities to include international publicity and corporate communications, while taking on oversight of Media and Marketing Partnerships and Promotions for the division.
Marcais and Finn will both report to Daily. Under her leadership, they will oversee all campaigns for Fox film and television programing, as well as all third party distribution partners.
‚ÄúVincent and James set success as a goal and then overachieve in whatever they do, from shaping and delivering disruptive campaigns across an expanding set of media platforms to effectively positioning our titles with consumers as the
best in home entertainment experiences,‚Äô‚Äô Daily said. ‚ÄúIn their new positions, the resonance of their great work, spirit of collaboration and unbridled enthusiasm for addressing new challenges in this dynamic marketplace will extend across the global group.‚Äô‚Äô
A long-standing Fox executive, Marcais oversaw the division‚Äôs strategic marketing initiatives in all major territories outside North America since 2009. Marcais has also played a key role in helping transform the organization from a pure physical distribution company into a business that delivers its filmed content across all media platforms.
Since 2009, Finn has managed communications for new technology advancements, including the recently launched Digital HD‚ĄĘ, Blu-ray, 3D in the home, UltraViolet and VOD (video-on-demand).¬† He has also overseen the implementation of more than 200 home entertainment releases a year, and has been involved with some of the most successful TV and film home entertainment releases in recent history.
The Third Annual Content Protection Summit (CPS), produced by Variety and the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), today announced that Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America¬† (MPAA) will be featured in an exclusive Variety Conversation Keynote.
“With technology advancements and the development of an ever growing number of platforms for viewing motion pictures
and TV shows, it is more important than ever to make sure important industries, government and consumers work together to ensure the Internet works for everyone,” ¬†Senator Dodd said. “Both the creative and technology communities are inextricably linked as we work to bring consumers the digital environment they want and both are essential to the economic well-being of our country.”
The event is one of the highlights of a day-long, deep dive into the latest innovations, findings and effective forms of deterrence in the protection of the creative products of leading movie, game, music and software companies.¬† The event, themed “Innovation and Insights in Content Security,” is once again being held at the Los Angeles Hilton Hotel in Universal City on December 6.
“CPS is the official gathering of executives from across entertainment, focusing on the opportunities, and remarkable innovations in entertainment content protection,” said Alex Kochis, Conference Chair. “As the entertainment industry accelerates toward online services and digital products, we are experiencing a ‚Äėperfect storm‚Äô of threats to our business. Yet it is also a time of vast opportunity, disruptive business models, and remarkable innovation.¬† This conference has always kept the industry‚Äôs leading practitioners on the cutting edge of the most effective best practices and engineered solutions and we are especially proud this year to have Senator Dodd join our industry discussion.”
Senator Dodd is charged with advocating for the film, home entertainment and television industries around the world. The MPAA represents one of the most creative, productive and powerful industries in America – one that supports 2.1 million creators and makers in every state and particularly in California.
Also scheduled for presentation and discussions are the following conference session topics:
Going After the Money: Mitigating Profit-Driven Online Threats
Content Security in the Social Cloud
Meet the Gatekeepers: The Role of Hollywood IT in Content Security
The Meaning of Copyrights in Today‚Äôs Interconnected, Multi-Screen World
Exclusive Content Protection 2012 Research from Carnegie Mellon
Certifying for the Future: Is There a Better Way to Handle Security Audits?
Hack it! How Hackers Feed fans and Undermine the Franchise
Innovations in Anti-Piracy Technology and Solutions
Speakers represent some of the largest entertainment companies in the world including:¬† Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and others.
For ongoing updates about the conference program visit:¬† www.contentprotectionsummit.com
Technicolor is partnering with “Grand Theft Auto” publisher Rockstar Games to launch a high-end vidgame and animation production unit in India…
Cinram Group Inc. announced today that they have entered into an exclusive agreement with market leading Manufacturing on Demand (‚ÄúM.O.D.‚ÄĚ) service provider, Allied Vaughn, to expand services in North America and to introduce products in Europe.
Allied Vaughn has pioneered and developed the M.O.D. business by working closely with the motion picture and television industries and has recently expanded its capabilities to provide their services to the music industry. Producing low-volume (or one-off) DVD, Blu-ray and CD-R titles to accommodate the demands of the individual consumer is a natural evolution as the changing landscape of the packaged media industry continues to put pressure on optical media manufacturers. Both companies believe that on-demand solutions will be a key driver of waste elimination and will help maximize revenues from catalog content.
‚ÄúToday‚Äôs selling environment has content owners seeking improvements in their packaged media supply chains‚ÄĚ says Doug Olzenak from Allied Vaughn. ‚ÄúAs more consumers transition to digitally delivered content, controlling costs and maximizing margins for packaged media becomes increasingly important. Manufacturing on Demand uniquely ties costs to revenue, dramatically increasing title life cycle management options for content owners and marketers alike.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúBringing M.O.D. services to our global clients is consistent with our commitment to provide the most complete assortment of media supply chain products and services in the industry,‚ÄĚ says John Crosier, SVP Digital Architecture and Delivery for Cinram. ‚ÄúWe look forward to bringing this studio supported solution to the European market and are excited to be partnered with a company which has set the standard for world-class on-demand manufacturing.”
Variety and the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) have announced the final program for their day-long Digital Marketing & Analytics Summit this Friday on September 28th at the W Hotel in Hollywood.
The event will begin with a Variety Keynote conversation with Dwight Caines, President of Worldwide Digital Marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment, which will serve as a State of the Union Address on how social media and technology are changing the world of marketing.
Offering the retail perspective, Sears Chief Technology Officer Dr. Phil Shelley will address how big data now affords unprecedented opportunities to personalize marketing and optimize the entertainment supply chain, while building customer loyalty.
Also keynoting on the social media side will be Twitter west coast chief Robert Pietsch who will be providing practical, how-to insights into “How Hollywood can Capitalize on the Twitter Conversation” to connect to people, brands and events like never before.
Additional confirmed speakers for the Sept. 28 Summit include:
Dr. Amr Awadallah, Chief Technology Officer, Cloudera
John Crosier, Senior Vice President, Digital Architecture and Delivery, Cinram
Roxane Divol, Principal, McKinsey
Michelle Edelman, Vice President, Direct to Consumer Marketing, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution
Jeff Flasco, Senior Account Manager, Alliance IT
Theodore X. Garcia, President, XGAR Group
Field Garthwaite, Chief Executive Officer, IRIS.TV
Randy Lea, Vice President, America‚Äôs Aster Center of Innovation, Teradata
Jay Migliaccio, Director of Cloud Solutions, Aspera
Jane Mohon, Senior Vice President, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Vince Muscarella, VP Studio Digital Services, Rentrak
Jack Norris,¬†Vice President, Marketing, MapR Technologies
Nanea Reeves, Chief Operating Officer, Machinima
Bryan Rokoff, Director, Enterprise Data Warehousing, NBCUniversal
Lisa Joy Rosner, Chief Marketing Officer, NetBase
Mike Sid, Chief Executive Officer, Mediamorph
Clyde Smith, Senior Vice President of New Technologies, FOX Network Engineering and Operations
Jeff Stevens, Vice President, Digital Archives, Warner Bros. Technical Operations
Mark Turner, Director, Relationship & Strategy, M&E Group, Microsoft
Blake White, Director, Advisory, PwC
JR Yasgur, Vice President, Aggregated Metadata Management & Operations, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sponsors for the HITS: DMASummit include: Aspera, PwC, NetBase/SAP, Cloudera, MapR and Show of Hands, and Cinedigm.
Sony today officially opened its newly built UK distribution centre in Enfield, North London – a provider of around a quarter of the UK‚Äôs home entertainment media¬≠ – after the original building was destroyed by fire during the London riots in Summer 2011. The opening was attended by Prime Minister, David Cameron, who praised Sony for its efforts in retaining local employees through utilising the original site. The new, more advanced distribution centre was built against all odds in record time in order to be fully operational with stock for the peak Christmas sales period which accounts for 50% of annual revenue. It is operated by Sony‚Äôs global subsidiary Sony DADC, a leading production and distribution supplier of CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital media products for the international content industry.
Speaking at the opening of the new site David Cameron said, ‚ÄúThe riots last summer were devastating for many local communities and the businesses within them. I’ve heard today how upsetting it was for the employees here at Sony DADC to see the building they had worked in – some of them for many years – reduced to rubble. But I want to commend Sony for seeing this as an opportunity to rebuild an even better facility and for protecting the jobs of those employed here while they did it. The fantastic new distribution centre I’ve seen can handle more orders and has created the potential for more jobs in the area. I’m delighted to be here to wish Sony well as they move back to their home in Enfield today.‚ÄĚ
Around 25% of Britain’s total stock of home entertainment discs (like CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc) was destroyed by the fire, which could have had a devastating effect on retailers as well as major and independent rights holders. “Thanks to the dedication of our employees, contractors, suppliers and customers we have managed to pull off the impossible and re-establish our business in time for our busiest trading period and kept alive the businesses that depend on our services.” said Natasha Tyrrell, General Manager Distribution at Sony DADC UK who has spearheaded the recovery and development strategy.
‚ÄúWe are incredibly proud of the team in Enfield and of the ambitious re-build project, which together, we have made a huge success. Our main aim in this past year has been to continue to service our customers to our full potential and retain our skilled local workforce”, added Tyrrell, “This is a significant investment for us and demonstrates our commitment to developing our business despite an increasingly challenging environment in the packaged media (CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc) industry. Capitalising on the skills of our employees, our cross-section of customers in the entertainment industries of home video, music, games and software and our ability to adapt our services, means we are in an excellent position to drive new business.”
For more information see the full story here.
Sony Pictures and Sears Execs to Keynote Digital Marketing and Analytics Summit Sept. 28 in Hollywood
Two keynotes at the Digital Marketing & Analytics Summit, September 28 in Los Angeles, highlight how digital marketing and information technology are meeting in Hollywood to maximize the effectiveness of new digital marketing campaigns via advanced IT solutions.¬† Dwight Caines, President, Worldwide Digital Marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Dr. Philip Shelley, Chief Technology Officer, Sears have been named the event‚Äôs two keynote speakers at the W Hotel in Hollywood.
Co-produced by Variety and the Hollywood IT Society (HITS), the Digital Marketing & Analytics Summit presents a unique industry opportunity to bring together the CMOs, CIOs and CTOs from the Hollywood studios, along with their service provider partners, to better understand how the entertainment industry can engage today’s digital consumers, influence their behavior and introduce new products while optimizing advertising investments, strengthening their brands and transforming traditional marketing methods for films, television and home entertainment. Sponsors of the inaugural HITS: DMA Summit include Aspera, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAP, NetBase, Cloudera and MapR Technologies.
“By integrating and analyzing data from all platforms –¬† social media, web analytics, digital transactions, billing systems, and search engines — marketing executives today can better manage global advertising programs for all their properties,” says program chair Devendra Mishra.¬† “New IT solutions provide an unprecedented opportunity to improve our products, serve our customers and monetize our marketing by designing our campaigns for the new digital consumer experience,”
As President of Worldwide Digital Marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Dwight Caines manages all strategic and creative aspects of digital campaign development for the studio‚Äôs film titles across the globe. He drives the overall portal strategy for Sonypictures.com and Sonypictures.net. Caines also provides strategic oversight to Sony Pictures Interactive, a full-service agency that specializes in the extension of entertainment brands in the digital space. A 15-year Sony Pictures veteran, Caines has worked on over 200 digital campaigns, which have increased movie-going intent among fragmented, digitally distracted audiences.
Representing the IT community at the keynote podium, Dr. Philip Shelley of Sears Holdings also serves as CEO of MetaScale, a company subsidiary that makes Big Data easy by designing, delivering and operating solutions for analytics, massive-scale processing for an integrated into the customers‚Äô retail experience.¬† As Chief Technology Officer he is currently focusing on the modernization of IT across the company, including the iteration of large-scale private open-source cloud computing, infrastructure modernization, and Big Data.
Other confirmed DMA Summit speakers include:
Roxane Divol, Principal, McKinsey & Company
Field Garthwaite, CEO, Iris.TV
Randy Lea, VP, America‚Äôs Aster Center of Innovation, Teradata
Jack Norris, VP, Marketing, MapR Technologies
Nanea Reeves, COO, Machinima
Bryan Rockoff, Director, Enterprise Data Warehousing, NBC/Universal
Lisa Joy Rosner, CMO, NetBase
Derek I. Smith, SVP, Operations Strategies, 20th Century Fox
Clyde Smith, CTO, 20th Century Fox TV Network
Omer Trajman, VP, Technology Solutions, Cloudera
Blake White, Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers
- ¬†Understanding Today’s Digital Entertainment Consumer
- The Consumer Decision Journey: Unlocking Profits
- How to Get the Most for your Digital Marketing Dollars
- Advanced Digital Marketing and Analytics Tools for Hollywood
- Home Entertainment: Hollywood’s New Digital Marketing Engine
- Managing Big Data for Personalized Marketing and Supply Chain Optimization
- Digital Marketing: Producing User Experience, Business Models and Profitability
- Metadata: The Trigger for Monetization
To become an event sponsor contact: Guy Finley, guy@MESAlliance.org, (917) 513-5963 or Linda Buckley Bruno,¬† email@example.com, (323) 617-9429
To register and for program updates visit www.hollywoodITsociety.com/dmasummit/.
Shares of internet radio service Pandora (P) continued their downward spiral Monday in the wake of last week’s report that Apple is in talks with the record companies about starting its own streaming service. The shares were down more than 5% in midday trading, bringing the total decline since Friday to more than 20%. Even some decent news from Pandora this morning on August listener numbers could do nothing the arrest the slide.
Why would Apple want into a business Pandora itself has been unable to make a profit on? Most likely out of fear of losing its franchise in digital music, a business Apple has owned since it launched the iTunes Music Store. According to a recent report by Strategy Analytics, streaming is now the fastest growing mode of music consumption. And according to a recent report by Nielsen, it’s becoming an important means of music discovery — the key to breaking new acts and the life blood of the music business. ¬†The more time music fans spend outside iTunes ecosystem, the more leverage Apple stands to lose with the record companies.
Apple also has the advantage of not needing to turn a big profit on music streaming service directly. As Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter speculates in a note to clients, what Apple is likely talking to the labels about is some sort of hybrid service that combines streaming with paid downloads via iTunes.
The question for the labels is whether they really want to roll what are now two distinct functions and distinct consumer behaviors — music discovery and music purchasing — into a single licensing deal. Right now, the royalties they receive from music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify allow the labels to generate revenue from discovery, while the cut of the sales they get from MP3s stores like iTunes and Amazon allows them to generate revenue from music purchasing as well. That division of labor probably producers greater net revenue for the labels than they would if both processes were combined in a single deal with a retailer.
In any case, the labels hard-won wariness of Apple likely means that any deals that come from the alleged talks won’t happen quickly.
Marking the European debut of Brevity‚Äôs breakthrough solution for simultaneous transcode and high-speed transport of broadcast-quality content, the company is exhibiting its new sports industry focus at IBC 2012 in Media Logic‚Äôs booth J17, in Hall 7.
Brevity recently provided integrated transcode and transport support of graphics files to NBC Olympics during its production of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Building on its success in supporting sports programming, Brevity is introducing a new sports industry focus at IBC that improves file-based workflows across a range of the most demanding, time-sensitive and complex requirements across the sports programming ecosystem in Europe and North America. This includes programming in European football (soccer), American football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and other sports.
“The sports industry is a perfect example of how Brevity can transform costly and time-consuming workflows built around inefficient workarounds,‚ÄĚ said Timothy O‚ÄôBrien, President and CEO, Brevity. ‚ÄúBrevity‚Äôs unique capability to simultaneously transcode and transport digital files in multiple formats to multiple locations now redefines what is possible in managing highlights and production files to and from the production trucks at sports venues and the broadcast center.‚ÄĚ
High value sports content must be viewed within a short time window to be relevant.¬† Brevity‚Äôs high speed transcode and transport technology is gaining especially strong traction in the sports broadcasting ecosystem since there are constant pressures to reduce the time it takes to transcode, transport, and deliver finished sports programming.
By supporting EVS Broadcast formats as well as Avid¬ģ DNxHD¬ģ, ProRes, RLE, and other leading formats, Brevity is able to transcode sports highlights and graphics known as ‚Äúmelts‚ÄĚ on the fly, converting them in transport to editing formats needed to create sports programming. Brevity can then send the finished segments back to the EVS for immediate playout, without any intermediate steps.
Brevity will be exhibiting with Media Logic, a leader in providing digital solutions for the Sports and Television industry in Europe. Top customers of Media Logic include the ARD/ZDF for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the ORF for Alpine Ski programming, and many others.
‚ÄúWe recognize that Brevity brings a very unique solution to the market and we are pleased to be showcasing them here at IBC,‚ÄĚ said Andreas Martin, Sales Manager at Media Logic. ‚ÄúAs a broadcast integration leader, we strongly believe that Brevity will be able to deliver new efficiencies and create increased opportunities in sports networks and broadcast production throughout Germany and Europe.‚ÄĚ
Brevity V3 moves securely encrypted files over Internet, fiber, or data satellite up to 30X faster than otherwise possible while maintaining high quality resolution and support for leading industry codecs and formats such as Avid DNxHD, EVS MXF, Final Cut Pro, Sony Cameras and others. Brevity has been tested successfully on uncompressed, high bit rate video, 2k and 4k DPX files, as well as compressed HD and SD files. Using a cloud based enterprise media management and collaboration solution, Brevity is utilizing automated project-driven workflows, advanced algorithms, virtual storage, web-based interfaces, and teraFLOPS of computing power.
‚ÄúAt IBC our goal is to show the world that Brevity is a game changer- delivering to the industry for the first time simultaneous transcode and transport capability along with our web-based collaboration and workflow automation tools,‚ÄĚ continued O‚ÄôBrien. ‚ÄúWe want to show the sports broadcast industry that it is now finally possible to receive highlights much faster than before, deliver sports programming more cost-efficiently, and to simplify production truck file-based workflows.‚ÄĚ
Brevity‚Äôs industry partners include Avid, with support for all Avid DNxHD formats and EVS, with support for the¬†proprietary legacy¬†EVS MXF format as well as the EVS OpenCube suite that wraps files in OP1a or QuickTime formats.¬†Brevity also offers complete support for ProRes including ProRes-DNxHD and DNxHD-ProRes conversions.
More information is available at¬†www.brevityv.com.
o¬†¬†¬†Simple.¬†¬†STB integration.¬† Operators are only just now opening up and publishing their APIs to allow third parties to integrate their app functionality.¬† Some of the operators are still struggling to control their own STBs.¬† BuddyTV is the leading 3rd¬†party app in this space, while the major players like DirecTV, Comcast, and AT&T lead the way for operators in the US‚ÄĒoutside North America it becomes very complex quickly and there is a long road ahead.o¬†¬†¬†Simple.¬†¬†CE device integration.¬† Manufacturers are making progress with their own apps, but are also less sure how to proceed with 3rd¬†party developers.¬† LG is leading the way in this space today as they publish APIs to integrate into their device world.o¬†¬†¬†Simple.¬†¬†Game Console integration.¬† While Xbox has taken a big leap out front with SmartGlass by committing to an SDK for their platform, the rest of the console market is still at the drawing board.o¬†¬†¬†Social.¬†¬†Time-zero adjusted social feeds¬†(for pre-recorded events).¬† App developers and content creators are only now recognizing that time-shifted content (eg the Olympics) must have the option for time shifted social commentary to avoid the spoilers.¬† TVplus does this very well.o¬†¬†¬†Stimulating.¬†‚ÄúOS-level‚ÄĚ ACR.¬† The concept of the device or player being aware of the video time code and being able to respond to event triggers has been around for awhile and Flingo is building a business based on the concept, but for the most part, this is truly nascent technology.¬† Expect announcements in this area at IBC and CES from players like Apple, Netflix and Roku.o¬†¬†¬†Stimulating.¬†¬†Stream capture ACR (NOC).¬† While the concept of tracking watermarks and fingerprints in video has been around for years (see Civolution), using this to manage event triggers on the 2nd¬†screen is only just getting started.¬† The most likely to succeed here are probably Civolution with their 17k monitored channels.o¬†¬†¬†Stimulating.¬†¬†Synchronous commerce.¬† The first few attempts have been either interesting or painful‚ÄĒa lot of work required in this field to balance relativity and ease of use for the consumer.¬† There are some apps by Magic Ruby (Fox‚Äôs SOA Gear) and WatchWith that are worth watching in this space.o¬†¬†¬†Stimulating.¬†¬†Ad insertion.¬† We are only just now seeing 2nd¬†screen ads being inserted by an awareness of the content on the 1st¬†screen‚ÄĒbut this is a rich monetization opportunity for the industry.¬† I would expect Zeebox to take an early lead in this space and Young and Rubican will work hard to make this space valuable for their clients.o¬†¬†¬†Stimulating.¬†¬†Live news support.¬† There are a few interesting apps which are leveraging the audio stream to summarize news stories on the fly to give additional information, but this powerful concept is still nascent.o¬†¬†¬†Stimulating.¬†¬†Synchronous live content event triggering.¬† Apps like Zeebox and TVplus have delivered some very interesting use cases from this capability, but scaling this capability beyond major events is the real challenge.¬† Check out Mobovivo‚Äôs Toronto Blue Jays app designed for live syncing at the stadium between broadcast, the jumbotron and the 2nd¬†screen for a glimpse of the future.o¬†¬†¬†Stimulating.¬†¬†Recorded content event triggering.¬† This becomes more of a metadata availability and association challenge to deliver an experience beyond niche content, but TVplus, Zeebox and WatchWith continue to lead the way in this field.¬† Expect companies like Digitalsmiths who provide scene level metadata to help close the scalability gap her for the industry.o¬†¬†¬†Seamless. ¬†Integration of cloud-based content.¬† As consumers begin to use Ultraviolet and iTunes cloud-based content ownership, there need to be services which can integrate these sources into search and discovery experiences (similar to what is done today for subscription services).¬† Today, there are not any 3rd¬†party services delivering on this promise that reach beyond native first party experiences (ie iTunes, Vudu, Amazon).
o¬†¬†¬†Social.¬†¬†Live Curated social feeds.¬† The technology is working, but when and how to implement is creating a consumer backlash (spoilers) for except truly live events (which did not include the Olympics).o¬†¬†¬†Stimulating.¬†¬†Live sports support.¬† Getting stats for your favorite professional sport is a reality (AtBat, Courtside, NFL ‚Äô12), but taking it beyond an interesting use case into monetization is going to drag this feature down to the trough of disillusionment before it can ascend again for business leaders.¬† Cost effective scale and ubiquity will be the challenges here.o¬†¬†¬†Stimulating.¬†¬†Gamification.¬†¬†From simple trivia games to complex fight scoring and zombie kill counting, exciting games are engaging consumers in large numbers.¬† Viggle and TV Dinner are touting strong numbers of engaged consumers in this space and anyone who‚Äôs seen Mobovivo‚Äôs AXS TV Fights app or Red Bee‚Äôs AMC Walking Dead app can attest to the interactive engagement those experiences create.o¬†¬†¬†Discovery.¬†¬†Discovery¬†(the ability to be presented with relevant content in a lean-back mode).¬† Quickly headed for the trough, this is a much sought after (holy grail) feature that no one is implementing well (yet).¬† Most of what consumers are getting today is a collaborative filtering-based recommendation (think Amazon-style ‚Äúpeople who viewed this also liked…‚ÄĚ), but Digitalsmiths‚Äô Seamless Discovery seems to be gaining traction with both pay TV operators and connected CE manufacturers with a next generation algorithm.¬† Expect this to be THE use case for operators to chase in late 2012 and 2013 with announcements at IBC and CES.o¬†¬†¬†Seamless.¬†¬†Integration of major OTT content sources¬†(Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, Amazon).¬† There are some apps showing initial progress (Matcha, BuddyTV, Fanhattan), but this will suffer from UI challenges before it gets better.o¬†¬†¬†Seamless.¬†¬†Integration of live broadcast TV sources¬†(cable, telco).¬† Operator apps are doing this well, but perhaps the best implementation to date has been BuddyTV (integrating your MVPD and OTT provided content).o¬†¬†¬†Seamless.¬†¬†Integration of home network files¬†(professional).¬† Clearly apps like Boxee have jumped out in front, but for this to be valuable to the consumer, the apps need to effectively integrate at least the presence of all major content in the home (iTunes, Vudu, Amazon).
o¬†¬†¬†Discovery.¬†¬†Search.¬† While this is technically feasible, poor metadata and a lack of integrated sources of content have made this a poor consumer experience.¬† Fanhattan is probably the best at this so far.o¬†¬†¬†Discovery.¬†¬†Recommendation.¬† While the Amazon collaborative-filtering approach has been around and social networks are just now being integrated, this is for the most part a poor experience for consumers, usually relying on a list-based approach (top 10 this week, your friends are watching, etc).o¬†¬†¬†Stimulating.¬†¬†Audio ACR.¬† Having made quick progress up the to the Peak of inflated expectations, the wider-industry is now utilizing this for ‚Äúcheck-ins‚ÄĚ mostly as the quality for event triggering has been unreliable.¬† Climbing up to the slope of enlightenment is going to require ubiquitous scene level metadata and use cases that integrate better polling of the audio stream to determine relative time code accuracy.¬† Despite the ‚Äúacoustic‚ÄĚ challenges, there are some great apps being delivered by companies like Red Bee Media (AMC‚Äôs Walking Dead), Yahoo‚Äôs IntoNow, ConnecTV and TVplus.¬†¬† Expect companies like Civolution to begin integrating this with ‚ÄúOS-level‚ÄĚ and stream capture ACR to improve the overall user experience.
o¬†¬†¬†Simple.¬†¬†Blu-ray player integration.¬† BD-Live based 2nd¬†screen applications for your Blu-ray content already integrate well into the video stream, allowing application developers to trigger events based on metadata and with Wi-Fi capabilities, give a consistent and accurate experience to the consumer.¬† There are a number of decent apps in this space based on movies and TV shows from the likes of Disney and Magic Ruby.o¬†¬†¬†Seamless.¬†¬†DVR integration.¬† Nearly all of the operators have created apps that integrate both the recording and playback of content from the DVR.¬† They continue to make progress in making these assets available in content search and discovery and to opening the integration to 3rd¬†party apps.o¬†¬†¬†Stimulating.¬†¬†Rich, related metadata.¬† There are many apps which perform this function at some level (some are apps dedicated this use case like IMDB).¬† However, Fanhattan and Zeebox continue to lead the way in this field, leveraging metadata service providers like Digitalsmiths and Tribune Media Services.o¬†¬†¬†Social.¬†¬†Facebook integration.¬† Nearly every 2nd¬†screen app is able to effectively integrate Facebook into the experience, leveraging the app as a single-sign-on gateway in addition to allowing ‚Äúcheck-ins‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúlikes‚ÄĚ, and comments.o¬†¬†¬†Social.¬†¬†Twitter integration.¬† Perhaps the most used 3rd¬†party widget in the 2nd¬†screen world, the automated searching of appropriate keywords and hashtags has made this a pretty robust experience for live events (pre-recorded events are still spoiler-challenged).¬† Perhaps the best overall socially integrated app these days is Yap.TV.
o¬†¬†¬†Simple.¬†¬†The classic remote.¬† The last improvements came from companies like Harmony, allowing more efficient programming and usage of the 1960‚Äôs-based device.o¬†¬†¬†Discovery.¬†¬†The grid guide.¬† While some operators have customized the grid guide with favorites and there is discussion of a ‚Äúcustom channel‚ÄĚ approach, any real improvement in this content search and discovery method is most likely to come from new UI approaches.
By Lyndsey Schaefer
BluFocus today announced the formation of the BluFocusGroup, which will hone in on the user experience for entertainment products, applications and technologies, allowing clients to utilize the division for subjective insight on design, structure and organization of software and new technologies.
Paulette Pantoja, CEO and Founder of BluFocus, saw a need for this group in the face of the proliferation of applications across mobile phones, set-top boxes and Web sites.
‚ÄúNow that the home entertainment industry is getting into app development, user experience is becoming more and more important, and we‚Äôre providing guidance on what the best user experience will be,‚ÄĚ Pantoja says. ‚ÄúInstead of focusing on the technical aspects, we‚Äôre focusing on the user experience aspects.
Differentiating itself from typical focus groups, the BluFocusGroup will provide a unique service using its technical expertise to provide guidance during the application and technology concept and development phases.
BluFocus, which is known for its quality assurance, certification, verification and project engineering services, has provided focus group services to some clients in the last year, but now that it‚Äôs become more in demand, creating the new division was the next logical step, Pantoja says.
‚ÄúYou used to have home entertainment and broadcast separately. Now everything is converging together,‚ÄĚ Pantoja says. ‚ÄúApps work in conjunction with the Internet, broadcast, second screen and UltraViolet. We love any opportunity to offer new services that our client can benefit from, and this is perhaps the most exciting yet.‚ÄĚ
Some topics the BluFocusGroup will provide feedback on are user interface, usability, overall user experience, and ease of use. The goal is to assist in providing all of the necessary ingredients for a successful technology or application.
For more information, visit http://www.blufocus.com.
As the¬†UltraViolet academy¬†in London approaches to wake us out of our summer slumber and send us on to IBC, I sat discussing the onward march of digital video in today’s Top 20 ratings-driven world with some neighbors around the end of summer BBQs. ¬†There was a general view that most TV shows were available (in the US) on either HuluPlus or Netflix. ¬†While there was some discussion about network specific sites like ABC.com, HBO-GO and TV.com (CBS’ site) and some general understanding that there was content missing from HuluPlus and Netflix, most people felt like anything they were missing was probably available to purchase as a catch-up one-off show from iTunes or Vudu.
As I pondered this seemingly simple challenge, I though back to the end of May when I wrote a¬†blog about the current state of digital title availability¬†in the various service offerings (rental, sell-thru, subscription) and retailers (iTunes, Vudu, Netflix) and compared them to each other and to their physical counterparts. ¬†So, with the help of some colleagues, I set out to get to the bottom of the details.
We started with the current TV Guide Top 20 (as of August, 2012). ¬†I realize that the Top 20 would have been different in May and will be different in October once the season is underway, but this is a unique time of the year where even the most protected of shows has finally exited their Spring window and have been pushed out on DVD or at least a digital purchase service (if not a streaming one–rental by the episode is no longer supported by any site).
What were the results? ¬†Surprising to say the least. ¬†First, let me give you an idea of the list (since it is relatively short):
Now with this list, you would have thought there would be a high probability to have nearly all but the HBO and AMC series available already. ¬†The results?
- iTunes carries 75% of the content (in SD) for purchase (most recent season)–Vudu and Amazon were just a step behind them. ¬†The missing items were all some sort of reality show.
- Netflix has a (not surprising) poor showing for current seasons (strong for past seasons) with only 15% available, but to my surprise, HuluPlus only came in at 40% (disappointing in a big way). ¬†Combining the two options only yielded 45% availability.
- Physical still trumped all of the options with 80% of them available for purchase from Amazon and 75% for physical rental from Netflix.
- Combining digital purchase and streaming (across all services) yielded a 90% availability (with only X Factor and So You Think You Can Dance absent)–yielding a problem discussed in¬†my blog last week of finding content across multiple sources.
New technology unveiled by Rovi Corp. at the IFA show in Berlin on Friday will enable more retailers in the U.S. and Europe to offer services for ‚Äúconverting‚ÄĚ consumers‚Äô physical disc libraries into UltraViolet-enabled digital collections.
Rovi Digital Copy for Retailers offers solutions for in-store disc-to-digital conversions, as well as retailer-branded in-home services. Both services will utilize Rovi technologies for content recognition and authentication, along with components of Rovi Entertainment Store, the company‚Äôs platform for digital storefront creation and management.
The company expects the first retailer services powered by Rovi Digital Copy for Retailers to be introduced later this year.
‚ÄúAs well as helping fuel the digital transition by turning consumers‚Äô physical DVD libraries into virtual shelves, the solution will serve as an ideal complement to the broad range of capabilities we offer through the Rovi Entertainment Store and a natural extension to our support of retailers wishing to participate in the UltraViolet ecosystem,‚ÄĚ says David Cook, General Manager of Rovi Entertainment Store, in a statement.
With in-home disc-to-digital services, consumers need only insert a DVD or Blu-ray Disc title into a Rovi Digital Copy-enabled PC or Blu-ray Disc player. With Rovi-powered in-store offerings, consumers will bring disc collections into a participating store outlet, where a sales representative will assist them through the ‚Äėconversion‚Äô process.