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DEG Celebrates 10th

10 Aug, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

On the eve of its 10th year of existence, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group is gearing up to transition the focus of its promotional efforts from standard DVD to the two high-definition formats: HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

At the same time, the group also is recognizing that the distribution of home entertainment is no longer packaged media's sole domain.

“The consumer is looking for different ways of getting content,” said Amy Jo Smith, DEG's longtime executive director. “It's no longer just a one-format world, so the group is exploring different delivery methods. “We began 10 years ago with the mission of launching DVD as the first optical-disc format for video and music. Now, we are primed for the launch of high-definition technologies, and are also focusing on emerging technologies that will offer new methods for delivering content to the home and on the go.”

Several initiatives are in the works:

  • In September, the DEG is launching a retail education campaign aimed at teaching consumers how to properly set up their HDTVs. Participating retailers include Target Stores and Best Buy.

  • In October, the DEG will help produce an educational seminar in Los Angeles on high-def packaged media, targeting the consumer press.

  • The group also is preparing an antipiracy campaign to teach consumers about respecting copyrights, and a supply-chain research project to help the studios find ways to cut costs. “The way the industry is going to make money when business is flat is by finding and eliminating waste,” Smith said.

  • Since its 1997 launch, the DEG has grown from 15 member companies to more than 50, including all the major studios and leading consumer electronics manufacturers as well as recent additions CinemaNow and Blockbuster Inc.

    Smith, a former Clinton White House aide who came to Los Angeles to do public relations in the entertainment sector, has been running the show at DEG since day one, having been recruited by then-Warner Home Video president Warren Lieberfarb and the late Emiel Petrone.

    Bob Chapek, president of Buena Vista Worldwide Home Entertainment, has been re-elected president of DEG. The group's other key officers also have been re-elected: VPs Reid Sullivan, VP of the entertainment group at Panasonic Consumer Electronics, and Peter Staddon, EVP of marketing for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment; CFO Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment; and secretary Stephen Einhorn, president and COO of New Line Home Entertainment.

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