Variety will present its first Entertainment Apps Conference on Dec. 1 at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles, examining how media and entertainment companies are using digital apps to distribute premium content, enhance audience engagement, and create new revenue opportunities.
The one-day conference, produced in conjunction with Concurrent Media Strategies, will be headlined by speakers from studios and TV networks, along with leading app developers, technology providers and creative talent, who are collaborating to expand the app marketplace. Session topics include social-viewing apps for movies and television, monetization strategies for second-screen apps; movie distribution via social networking platforms; building and extending content franchises around apps; and content discovery via apps. Other sessions will drill into technical and operational issues tied to apps, including the shift from native apps to HTML-based Web apps and emerging technologies for syncing second-screen apps with live video content.
Variety‚Äôs Entertainment Apps Conference is sponsored by BluFocus, Slacker, The Consumer Electronics Association, Mobovivo, 1K Studios and AFTRA. To register and find out more about attending the Entertainment Apps Conference, visit www.variety.com/entertainmentapps.
Variety magazine is tackling the impact of new digital media technologies on entertainment in two conference sessions at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Thursday, Jan. 6. Both sessions are open to show attendees.
A morning panel, ‚ÄúHollywood Creative Masters,‚ÄĚ will bring together top filmmakers and TV show producers to discuss strategies for building audiences through social networks, mobile platforms, and other digital media. Panelists include Conrad Green, executive producer of ‚ÄúDancing With the Stars,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúMegamind‚ÄĚ director Tom McGrath. Variety reporter Chris Morris moderates. The panel will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (room N255-257).
In an afternoon panel, prominent Hollywood executives will trade thoughts on opportunities and challenges in bringing entertainment to emerging platforms such as the iPad and Google TV. Speakers include Thomas Gewecke of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution; Steve Nickerson of Summit Entertainment; Jordan Hoffner of Electus; Bob Chapek of Walt Disney Studios; and Peter Levinsohn of Fox Filmed Entertainment. Variety editor David Cohen moderates. The session ‚ÄĒ taking place from 1:20 p.m. to 2:05 p.m. in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (room N250) ‚ÄĒ is part of the convention‚Äôs ‚ÄúEntertainment Matters: Media Money Makers‚ÄĚ program track (more info here).
By Mel Lambert
Responding to DGA president Taylor Hackford‚Äôs passionate affirmation in his keynote presentation that ‚Äúwe must do something about piracy ‚Äď or we will go out of business,‚ÄĚ the remainder of yesterday‚Äôs Entertainment Content Protection Summit focused on specific ways in which the film, music, gaming, and software industries can stem copyright infringement.
‚ÄúThe entertainment industry‚Äôs treasure ‚ÄĒ its content ‚ÄĒ is being plundered by pirates of all kinds,‚ÄĚ said conference co-chair Richard Atkinson of Anti-Piracy Worldwide. ‚ÄúOur key strategy needs to focus on risk management ‚Äď the possibility of theft happening versus its impact if and when it occurs.‚ÄĚ
Atkinson, the former head of Walt Disney Studios‚Äô Anti-Piracy Operations, added that companies must make anti-piracy measures a part of their creative process, rather than rely solely on technological solutions. ‚ÄúPiracy is demand-driven,‚ÄĚ he emphasized.
Co-organized by Variety and the Content Delivery & Storage Association (CDSA), the one-day summit in Universal City, Calif. explored the evolving nature of content security. Stuart McClure from McAfee stated that malware attacks, for example, have increased exponentially during the past decade.
‚ÄúIn 2009 we saw more [computer and website intrusions] than in all of the previous years combined,‚ÄĚ he told the conference. ‚ÄúWe continuously track the thousands of small teams that create malicious software and system hacks. Consumerization will force more IT changes over the next 10 years than any other trend,‚ÄĚ he said, referring to the accelerated popularity of iPads, smartphones and similar devices.
A session moderated by Tom Moran of Savvis addressed various examples of secure supply chain management, including implementation of new standards developed by CDSA for certified suppliers, while a panel moderated by industry consultant Rajan Samtani focused on techniques for safeguarding valuable assets.
‚ÄúThere are no silver bullets,‚ÄĚ warned panelist Joel Bigley of Deluxe Digital Studios. ‚ÄúJust hard work! And do not overlook the human factor ‚Äď make employees a part of your security landscape,‚ÄĚ he advised, ‚Äúand explain the value proposition of security policies ‚ÄĒ which we link to our bonus structures.‚ÄĚ
Steve Weinstein of MovieLabs offered a look at various fingerprinting and forensic watermarking techniques that enable the origins of pirated media to be uniquely identified and ‚ÄĒ rather than being blocked or removed ‚ÄĒ potentially monetized in a variety of ways. Another session, moderated by Brad Hunt of Digital Media Directions, considered a number of watermark technologies that prevent playback of pirated optical media and data files. Solutions include Verance‚Äôs Cinavia copy-management system, which is used within AACS-protected Blu-ray Disc players, along with a number of software tools from Fortium.
Mitch Singer from Sony Pictures provided a succinct overview of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem‚Äôs UltraViolet DRM implementation, which enables legitimate purchasers of physical and digital entertainment products to play the content on multiple formats/devices via a cloud-based account. The UltraViolet system is now being supported by Comcast, Microsoft, Best Buy, and others.
‚ÄúContent protection,‚ÄĚ Singer said, remains a matter of ‚Äúhelping keep normal people honest.‚ÄĚ
In the final session, representatives from the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), as well as the music industry‚Äôs RIAA and studios‚Äô MPAA, discussed ways in which cooperative activities between trade organizations can advance wider-reaching strategies.
‚ÄúMovies, games, music and software are major revenue sources,‚Äú said MPAA‚Äôs Mike Robinson. ‚ÄúSince piracy has a major economic impact we need to engage the federal government,‚ÄĚ to ensure consistent and enforceable solutions. ‚ÄúWe need to find areas of commonality,‚ÄĚ added Marcus Cohen from RIAA, ‚Äúand respond to our memberships‚Äô needs. We have to deliver the results they need.‚ÄĚ
Finally, Atkinson presented the conference‚Äôs ‚ÄúBuried Treasure Award‚ÄĚ to Microsoft for its continuing efforts to stem software theft, as well as the company‚Äôs ongoing cooperation in the development of anti-piracy measures.
Taylor Hackford, president of the Directors Guild of America and Academy Award-winning director, will headline Variety and the CDSA‚Äôs Entertainment Content Protection Summit on Dec. 8 at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Universal City, Calif.
Hackford will participate in a keynote conversation at the Summit, a one-day event exploring the evolving world of content piracy, offering the latest business strategies to best protect entertainment assets, spanning film, TV, videogames, music and publishing.
The DGA‚Äôs top public policy priority is addressing the problem of digital theft, and as president of the DGA, Hackford is committed to protecting the intellectual property rights of the DGA‚Äôs 14,000 members on the films, television programs and other content they create.
Hackford understands well what is at stake for DGA members and their colleagues throughout the entertainment industry. In 2004, he found dozens of copies of his film ‚ÄúRay‚ÄĚ being sold on the streets of New York the same day it was released in theaters, followed by millions of online files being swapped freely by Internet thieves. Since then, the problem has grown monumentally and Internet theft is now a problem facing all filmmakers no matter how small or large the film.
Hackford, who was nominated for an Academy Award for directing ‚ÄúRay,‚ÄĚ has directed and produced a number of films including ‚ÄúLove Ranch,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúProof of Life‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Devil‚Äôs Advocate,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúDolores Clairborne‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúAn Officer and a Gentleman.‚ÄĚ In 1979, Hackford won the Oscar for Best Short Film for ‚ÄúTeenage Father.‚ÄĚ
Conference sessions at the Entertainment Content Protection Summit include:
- Physical Security: Are there better ways to attack this problem?
- Going Digital: Turning ‚Äúfear‚ÄĚ into ‚Äúunderstanding‚ÄĚ
- Remember the Music Business: What happened?
- Protecting the Cloud: How to secure our industry‚Äôs next generation ecosystem
- Safeguarding Assets: What about the vault?
- Capitalizing on Piracy Consumption by moving from Defense to Offense
Conference co-chairs spearheading the day‚Äôs programming are Richard Atkinson, an expert in media piracy and former head of Disney‚Äôs anti-piracy operations; and Devendra Mishra, MESA chief strategist and an adjunct professor of decision sciences at Pepperdine University.
Additional speakers at the Entertainment Content Protection Summit include: Chris Carey, EVP of Worldwide Technical Operations, Paramount Pictures; James Dunkleberger, GM Worldwide Product Services and Security, Microsoft; Joel Bigley, SVP, Deluxe Digital Studios; Spencer Mott, CISO, Electronic Arts; Kaye Cooper-Mead, EVP Worldwide Distribution Services, Summit Entertainment; Dimitri Villard, CEO, Peer Media Technologies; Alex Terpstra, CEO, Civolution; and Mathew Gilliat-Smith, CEO, Fortium Technologies.
For registration and additional information visit Variety.com‚Äôs Events page.
Variety magazine will induct Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, Anchor Bay Entertainment president Bill Clark, and the Blu-ray Disc Association into its Home Entertainment Hall of Fame at an awards ceremony Dec. 6 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
All ticket sales for the awards show benefit the Entertainment AIDS Alliance, a volunteer group dedicated to funding AIDS service organizations nationwide.
Each of this year‚Äôs three Hall of Fame inductees, says Variety publishing director Linda Buckley-Bruno, ‚Äúexemplifies the vitality of home entertainment as it evolves from purely physical distribution to a revenue-expanding mix of physical, digital, mobile and other models that provide increased convenience and value to the entertainment consumer.‚ÄĚ
Sarandos has led content acquisition for Netflix since 2000, playing a key role in the service‚Äôs move to online distribution by expanding its streaming library to more than 17,000 movies and TV episodes. Prior to joining Netflix Sarandos held posts at companies including video wholesaler ETD and retail chain Video City.
Clark, who oversees worldwide sales, marketing, acquisitions and product development for independent distributor Anchor Bay, launched a theatrical unit at the company in 2008. Bay Films. Clark‚Äôs career includes stints at Ventura Entertainment Enterprises, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Spelling Entertainment, and Walt Disney Studios.
Accepting the induction of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) will be BDA Promotions Committee chairs Victor Matsuda and Andy Parsons. The group, which oversaw development of Blu-ray‚Äôs technical standards, continues to work toward greater consumer adoption of the format.
More information on the Variety Home Entertainment Hall of Fame is available here. The event was previously known as the Video Hall of Fame, and sponsored by former Variety sister magazine Video Business.
The industry‚Äôs first-ever Entertainment Content Protection Summit has been announced by Variety magazine and CDSA, the international content protection association, on December 8 at the Universal Hilton Hotel, in Universal City, California.
The one-day event will provide content executives from studios, videogames, music and publishing an intensive download on the changing state of content piracy and the newest business strategies for minimizing risk and maximizing profits in today‚Äôs world of ubiquitous entertainment.
‚ÄúThe entertainment industry‚Äôs treasure ‚ÄĒ its content ‚ÄĒ is being plundered by pirates of all kinds,‚Äô says Conference Co-Chair Richard Atkinson. ‚ÄúIn today‚Äôs digital world, we are under siege by organized crime, anonymous hackers, recalcitrant cyberlockers, and even our own customers.¬†¬† This Summit will identify the threats and provide new ways for our industry go on the offense ‚ÄĒ taking down or frustrating pirates and even, at times, capitalizing on piracy consumption.‚ÄĚ
A recognized expert and consultant in the areas of media piracy, business and technology strategy and consumer experience, Atkinson created and ran Disney‚Äôs Anti-Piracy Operations team for six years. Previously he served as a technology innovator for Walt Disney Imaginnering. His co-chair is Devendra Mishra, MESA chief strategist and an adjunct professor of decision sciences at Pepperdine University. Read more
Variety will launch the Film Marketing Summit on October 5-6 at the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles.
Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman and CEO Tom Rothman and Summit Entertainment co-chairman and CEO Rob Friedman will be keynote speakers at the conference. This inaugural two-day event will bring together the top theatrical marketers from the major and independent studios to explore the dynamic world of feature film promotion.
Variety‚Äôs Film Marketing Summit will help the community stay on top of its game. As today‚Äôs film fans watch entertainment on various platforms and devices, the conference will analyze how best to reach this splintered audience, offering innovative strategies for box office success now and into the future.
Gordon Paddison, of global marketing firm Stradella Road, is a content partner with Variety on the two-day event. With more than 15 years of experience creating innovative integrated campaigns for hundreds of movie titles, including The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the Austin Powers and Blade franchises, and hits such as Wedding Crashers, The Notebook, and Sex and the City, Paddison promises a provocative and relevant program. Read more
Year-to-date spending on DVD and Blu-ray rentals is up 8.2% over 2008, to $5 billion, according to Rentrak. Fueling the growth are kiosks, the further establishment of the Blu-ray channel, and the economy.¬†By Variety