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Saluting Digital Drivers

25 Jun, 2012 By: Stephanie Prange

This issue includes Home Media Magazine’s second “Digital Drivers” special section, another look at who is driving the transition from physical media to digital distribution, including studio, retail, cable, Internet and technology executives.

Since the publication of last year’s “Digital Drivers” section, the industry has seen the introduction of UltraViolet, which launched in October 2011. The UltraViolet ecosystem is spearheaded by a consortium of more than 75 member companies, including studios, retail, consumer electronics, technology, cable and other companies. That consortium, the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, or DECE, is embarking on a bold attempt to create a standard for digital delivery that is unprecedented. It aims to allow consumers to buy digital rights to a title that will allow them to buy once, play anywhere the movies, TV shows and other content they cherish.

UltraViolet, despite some hiccups, has made inroads, especially with Walmart’s help. The retailer launched a disc-to-digital service that allows consumers to come into the store with their existing disc library and buy UltraViolet digital rights playable via Walmart’s Vudu service. With that move, Walmart has helped UltraViolet populate the cloud with content rights and grow its account base from 1 million to 3 million in a matter of months.

For that reason, we have chosen executives key to the launch of UltraViolet as high-level digital strategists this year.

Meanwhile, former digital darling Netflix has suffered some growing pains trying to forge a subscription streaming future. Netflix will have to balance marketing to grow subscribers domestically and abroad with the increasing cost of buying premium content. Now that the content owners see dollar signs in streaming, that task will get harder.

Digital delivery is here to stay, and it’s growing. But the players continue to shift as content owners and distributors negotiate how to most profitably and conveniently serve it up to consumers.

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