Chase Carey: Digital a Savior to Home Entertainment5 Mar, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
A flat packaged media sellthrough market in 2012 buttressed with a stronger digital presence going forward should put the home entertainment business back into a growth trajectory, News Corp. COO Chase Carey told an investor group.
News Corp. owns 20th Century Fox, which includes Fox Broadcasting Co. and 20th Century Fox Studios, among other properties.
Speaking March 5 at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom confab in Palm Beach, Fla., Carey said that despite relatively flat revenue in 2012 home entertainment consumer spending, new digital initiatives portend a positive to the bottom line.
Indeed, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment last September bowed Digital HD, a platform designed to distribute new and catalog releases via online channels, including Best Buy’s CinemaNow and Walmart’s Vudu.com. The studio has also begun offering select titles electronically ahead of their packaged media retail street date.
“You went through a period over the last few years where home video clearly came off its period of real growth through the prior decade and the business had to absorb the resettling of the home entertainment business,” Carey said. “I think the digital formats now are truly starting emerge and can re-energize the [overall] business.”
The COO said digital formats, which include electronic sellthrough and transactional video-on-demand should provide growth opportunities not during the next 12 months but throughout the next two to four years.
“These digital technologies have probably been more talk than action to date, whether it’s TV Everywhere or digital distribution of movies online,” Carey said, alluding to the former’s laborious attempt to enable multichannel video program distributors to compete against subscription video-on-demand through proprietary on-demand platforms.
Digital consumption of movies is also being driven by the rollout of UltraViolet, the studio initiative (without Disney) aimed at energizing physical and digital movie sales through the placement of a digital file in a cloud-based storage system.
“I think you’re actually getting to a place where there is going to be more traction and better, more coordinated, meaningful efforts to try and develop into something exciting,” Carey said.