Warner Readying ‘Digital Everywhere’ App15 Apr, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
App set launch this summer with unnamed cloud-based storage system
Warner is starting tests on an app that would allow consumers to buy and store moves and television programs on a cloud-based virtual locker system.
In an April 15 interview with CNBC, Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, said the app, dubbed “Digital Everywhere,” would allow consumers to manage their video content they way they can with music and photos.
The app would coincide with a yet-unnamed cloud-based virtual storage system some observers believe could come from Apple. The CE giant is said to be working on storage platform that would rival Sony-backed UltraViolet and Disney’s All-Access (formerly KeyChest).
Tsujihara didn’t elaborate on the origins of the cloud-based system except to say the studio was in the process of bringing other studios on board.
“We want to increase the value of owning content,” he said. “Consumers are telling us, ‘I want to be able to find what I want, when I want and be able to access it across all devices.’”
Despite home entertainment revenue declining to $14 billion in 2010 from $20 billion in 2006, Tsujihara said actual transactions are up, notably among lower-margin kiosk and subscription rentals.
The app would appear to parallel efforts by Time Warner to launch its TV Everywhere platform that allows pay-TV subscribers the ability to access live and repurposed content across myriad devices in the home. That platform now has come under fire from some content owners seeking greater control and incremental revenue from distribution of content on tablet computers and related devices.
“[Consumers] are telling us they still love our movies and TV shows as much as they did before, but they way they are consuming our products is changing,” Tsujihara said. “They want to watch it on their iPad and Android device.”
The executive said the app also would allow users to communicate with their friends and share information and recommendations on movies and TV shows.
Warner is one of the largest producers of original network and cable programming.
“The more product we’ve sold to them the harder it is for them to find it,” Tsujihara said. “Who is the best person to tell you that a move is great? It is your friend.”
“Digital Everywhere” currently is in beta and slated to be launched this summer.