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A Flexible Vision for Home Entertainment

27 Feb, 2017 By: Stephanie Prange


This year’s visionary is emblematic of the change the entire home entertainment industry is experiencing. Comcast’s Brian Roberts is straddling a legacy cable business while embracing a new digital delivery model.

Whew! It’s a hard task for an executive to keep one foot in the past and one in the future — but Roberts seems to be up to it. He is maintaining the cable business and sees the need for electronic sellthrough with expanded digital extras, but also recognizes the subscription video-on-demand draw of Netflix. The future will need such a flexible executive — as it’s unclear where the future home entertainment consumer will go.

Along the lines of that theme, the studios are rethinking their vision of the theatrical window. 20th Century Fox CEO Stacey Snider told a tech confab the issue is at the forefront of studio conversations. Kevin Tsujihara, CEO of Warner Bros., has broached the subject as well.

Exactly when does entertainment enter the home? Is there are window between initial theatrical release and Digital HD/disc release? What is the consumer demand for that release window based on the film? And how much should a studio charge?

These are all questions to be answered as we enter the new realm of home entertainment, which is more elastic than ever. It requires a very flexible executive, one that knows the legacy business but also understands where the consumer is going. Roberts has been that kind of leader, a visionary that can adapt to a changing market. The home entertainment industry will need many more like him to follow consumers who demand entertainment when and where they want it.

“Ultimately, it’s not really about the business model per se, it’s about giving consumers what they want,” Tsujihara said on a fiscal call.

I agree.



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