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Experts Talk Entertainment Apps

29 Nov, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

Warner's app for 'The Dark Knight Rises' Blu-ray

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Many people see the millions of applications available via iTunes, Google Play and Microsoft, and see something great. John Penney, EVP of strategy for Starz, looks at it and sees a mess.

“General confusion and mayhem” and “truly confounding for the consumer” is the way he described the current state of the world of applications, speaking Nov. 29 at the Variety Entertainment Apps Conference.

He and other panelists mulled the state of entertainment applications, and they found both good and bad things to share.

Richard Berger, SVP of global digital strategy and operations for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, said entertainment applications should be created with different devices in mind, and should extend the reach and value of content. Applications should be immersive, not a “lean-back” experience, he said.

Charlie Echeverry, EVP of sales for Univision Interactive, said consumers are making their mobile devices the first screen, not the second, and that every content producer needs to adjust accordingly.

He said content applications need to be narrowly focused to appeal to “key passion points.” That’s much more effective “than throwing a thousand things in the marketplace.” And he and other panelists agreed that one of the biggest problems affecting entertainment applications is the ability for consumers to easily search for, and find, what they want.

Penney said one of the most difficult things for content owners is producing revenue from entertainment apps, especially with advertising. It’s harder to gauge eyeballs on many applications, and advertisers are wary, he said.

However the entertainment industry capitalizes on applications, Dan Cryan, senior director of digital media for IHS has a pretty good idea of how consumers are going to watch them: via smartphones and tablets, not personal computers.

“That trend is going to continue,” he said.

About the Author: Chris Tribbey

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