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My notes from a session at Digital Hollywood in Santa Monica.

SPEAKERS:
John Penny – EVP Strategy and Business Development at Starz Entertainment
Curt Marvis – President of Digital Media at Lionsgate
John Calkins – EVP Global Digital and Commercial Innovation at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Hardie Tankersley – VP Innovation at Fox Broadcasting Company
Paul Yanover – EVP and Managing Director of Disney Online
Ira Rubenstein EVP Global Digital Media Group at Marvel Entertainment – Moderator

  • In the last 3 months – what was the biggest consumer lesson you have learned?
    • How to take some vast like Disney and bring this to iPhone and iPad worlds. People really want something there from Disney, but it is an interesting struggle. Providing something comprehensive is difficult. Disney hasn’t figured it out yet. We have apps that are trying to do too many things. Interesting challenge – PY
    • We have seen a shift into rental forms of consumption. JC
    • We have starting to build out our content – we are online able to bring people into the network as we are a premium market.  We have seen a growth in the channel service because of the online pieces. We are generating a lot of consumer energy. – JP
    • There is a consumer question – we are spending a lot of time with this – as the flow of entertainment spend shifts – how does Lionsgate  play here. Apps important, mobile is not yet seeing monetization. What are we going to do 2-3-5 years out to mine those places that are not traditional entertainment. – CM
    • Consumers don’t take orders very well. We had good shows with good buzz – all the data predicting the success of the show and we were surprised that the show didn’t do what we wanted to do. There was not one clear answer as to why – HT
  • Consumer behavior changing to rental from buy? Is that DRM?
    • It is not a digital phenomenon at all. Kiosk rentals and other things are also driving this. Rental is just that much more convenient. Locker will be a solution to help with buying media – JC
    • Another big challenge is that the connected TV is finally bringing digital to the living room. We are seeing the rapid rise of rental via the TV. The issue is that TV screen is a rental gateway and has never been a purchase gateway. If you buy it – where would it go? The promise DECE – ultraviolet – the brand name for buy it once and play anywhere – this will be an interesting challenge. – CM
    • There are digital purchase forms out there – but to what extent does Hollywood drive this? – JC
    • It is different whether we are talking about movie or TV content – JP
    • Music works digitally. Consumers get this. Video is not there yet. People don’t really understand this. – HT
    • It is still early days. We have been providing streaming movies from Disney.com and when people start to understand that they can come back and watch the movie again – that will make a lot of demand.  - PY
  • Blueray live – is it really doing anything?
    • People aren’t connecting to this – 5% – IraR
    • DVD market and the stated interest in extras is not too true – JC
  • Is interactive TV something that the consumer really wants?
    • The element of search is considered an interactive behavior – that search element is very important. The notion of application environment is important. Google lays Fox app, Disney app, etc and these become the gateways. We are moving in the direction where it is good. Social gaming is becoming part of this. Search .. content aggregation is now part of this larger platform – JP
    • People will have these multimedia experiences … but we are not there yet. I don’t know how a kid won’t do this. – JY
    • It is a question with the UI. The TV is a dumb display device and the search and aggregation will happen on another device in the home – HT
    • Apple has done an excellent job in remote controlling the dumb TV – JP
  • Are the cable companies – if we are going to have connected TV – does the cable universe model fall apart?
    • There is a notion of buying bundles rather than buying things ala carte. A cable offering is a bundle. There is this really interesting thing going on – if you like scripted TV – there is a consumer behavior dynamic and a content provider dynamic – we are starting to see consumer choice and this is dictating what we are providing to folks. In that, we look at behaviors as singles and then families. Singles have more time than money. Families have less time but more money. Where we end up going is an environment – ad supported basic channels – far more favorable via a bundle. For content that is more transactional – premium tv – that can go more directly to the consumer. With those – we can give a direct path to the consumer. Bundles and then transactional actions that go over the top. This transition will be a little messy but will be coming. – JP
    • Digital flexibility tends to go unbundled. Movies – distributed by a single entity – the studios and then TV shows – the production is tied to networks – much harder for them to do an unbundled process. Some of the things that we see are interesting – PVR usage. Now we are seeing more the consumer select particular items. This will bring clearer opportunities. – JC
    • It will become a complicated hybrid of choices. When there are tons of choices – people tend to move to consolidation. The more that is available and the more unbundling causes more bundling. There will be a weird hybrid online. Netflix looks easy. People want easy. There is a consumer regression to bundling because of choice. – PY
    • Everything available is consumer hell. – HT
    • I think that consumers what to be held by the hand and told what to watch. One of the biggest problems in the digital age is that placement on the web is more important than even in retail. If you are not on the home page on a website – then you drop like a rock. It is because consumers don’t know what they want. It is a challenge now. – CM
  • Content and Services – some vendors are not working well with providing content (e.g. Microsoft, PSP, etc)
    • Apple lives by the philosophy of vertical integration. Amazon doesn’t have this. Amazon doesn’t have the same bundle. Amazon is still ala carting one show at a time. – HT
    • Apple has made the consumption across different devices so easy. Netflix has a price bundle that is better. Amazon is neither of each – PY
    • These companies are focusing on hard-core gamers and then just moving into the entertainment industry. (e.g. Microsoft). They have had a hard time getting traction in the entertainment space. – JP
    • Cable companies are missing out on a huge opportunity in not really getting into the VOD market because of their user interface. They need to have commitment to the category – JC
  • What are the big things coming out of CES?
    • Connected TVs. It will be all about this – HT
    • Competitive tablets to the iPad. Moms will love this as kids are just adapting to these so well. Mobile video will be good. – CM
    • Glass-less 3D will be big. Last year was all about 3D with glasses – JP
    • There will be a lot about the devices that are between (in size) between the iPhone and the iPad. – PY
    • This will be the year Microsoft will announce that nothing has happened. This might be the first year of this.
  • What is going on with 3D?
    • We are very excited about 3D. It is finding its level in how to build it and deploy it. The consumer appeal is there – JC
    • We are committed to 3D but I sense that there is a bit of tentative feelings about it – CM
    • What are consumers willing to pay for this? We are not sure. – JP
    • Every breakthrough platform has its novelty stage and we are just getting out of this with 3D – HT
  • What content or service offering have you seen that no one is talking about?
    • I have seen two things in labs – they are 3D. The hollow representations of true 3D projectors. I have seen smart agent software – that provide recommendations – agenting technologies that people are working on. More app connected environments – help you find things that are user centric. – JP
    • Low and laptop level gestures for TV. Gesture controls can really explode. Also – people that do text animation. Something like second life where you see actors play out – PY
    • AVOD in general – the long form video – these are turning into real businesses. Advertises supported long term videos. That is an interesting area that has a lot of growth potential. – CM
    • An early home theater type of release (distribution). This will be good opportunity for Hollywood. We haven’t seen a lot of upsales from rentals. - CM
Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 9:41 AM | Back to top


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