Digital Drivers on a Roll24 Jun, 2013 By: Stephanie Prange
This issue includes Home Media Magazine’s third Digital Drivers special section, a compendium of the players driving the transition from physical media to digital distribution, including studio, retail, cable, Internet and technology executives.
The past year has seen a raft of changes in digital distribution, as well as the continued development of trends already under way.
UltraViolet, the cloud-based service spearheaded by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, has grown to more than 13 million household accounts. In addition to the boost it got from Walmart last spring, UltraViolet also took center stage at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show with home entertainment presidents from most of the major studios appearing on stage with Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro in support of the service.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s streaming service made an impressive comeback, tallying profits, new subscribers and new international territories. Perhaps its most striking achievement was its move into original programming, spearheaded by “House of Cards.” The move had pundits asking, “Could Netflix be the new model for television?”
Netflix’s comeback had us again listing CEO Reed Hastings among our high-level digital strategists this year.
But Netflix wasn’t without challengers. Amazon Prime stole content and launched original programming of its own, the launch of Redbox Instant propelled the kiosk company into the digital realm, and Hulu entertained suitors.
Meanwhile, studios such as Sony Pictures and Fox continued to experiment with early digital release of titles before disc, looking to lure digital consumers to purchase the most-sought-after new releases. Executives there, along with the top home entertainment players at Warner, also made our list of high-level strategists for their continued push to drive profitability and innovation.
Each year the digital sands seem to shift, but it is clear digital delivery is hitting its stride, and digital streaming is becoming a habit. Yes, digital is becoming an ever-growing piece of the entertainment pie.