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TV, iPad – Tablet – SmartPhone – PC

These are my notes from this session at Digital Hollywood Fall 2010 in Santa Monica, CA.

Colleen Brown – CEO Fischer Communications
Scott Fierstein – St. Director – Interoperability Policy and Standards at Microsoft
Alan Bell – former EVP and CTO of Paramount Pictures
Paul Sweeting – founder and principal at Concurrent Media
Fred Taylor – Sr. Marketing Manager – IP Multimedia Access Broadband Communications Group
Yun Chao Hu – Open IPTV President and Chairman
James Burger – Attorney at Law, Dow Lohnes, Moderator

  • Problem:  Define “Threat” – the threat is relative, shifting, and depend on context
  • There are a ton of ways to deliver video to the consumer
  • Colleen doesn’t see this as a threat – see this as an opportunity. Fischer owns 20 television stations. A company that continually reinvents itself. Radio/TV. Co-location services. We are really into hyper-local neighborhoods. Many media companies don’t have the expertise in the house.
  • We are going to ubiquitous access. It will be an on demand world. It is a combination of always being connected along with location based services. Targeted experiences. People are lazy and they want to watch things now. The ability for people to be connected to their entertainment and their family is the next big thing. – Scott F.
  • Where we are going is to digital and why is it taking so long? I joined Paramount in 2002 and started looking at DRM and looking at the rate of transition – 22 billion dollars in 2006 from physical media (high point in DVD). DVD is now down 16.4 million. All of digital amounts to 2.1 billion. It is only a smaller percentage of what it is replacing. What is going on in physical is impressive. The rental side has changed very much. Rental is a very good model for a consumer. Most will rent as they don’t watch movies more than once (generally). Netflix is an all you can eat subscription. This is training people that you don’t have to own a movie to watch it. People are going to streaming. Once you get to ubiquitous access the whole concept of ownership becomes not so important. One of the things about digital is that it isn’t growing. The studios where hoping that it wouldn’t grow – because they were making so much off of the physical space. The innovation is occurring – but it is fragmented innovation. The whole thing is burdened down by complexity. Open standards are always there to grow the marketplace and consumers can feel secure in what they are buying and lowers the costs of production. There has to some open standards put in place for these reasons. This will be key to the future. – Alan Bell
  • Where are we going? We are going nuts --- but that is for a different panel. We are not seeing a threat but an issue we have to solve. Consumers want their content and want to watch their purchases on multiple screens. People want their content to follow them. The problem to solve for the industry – how do you enable the consumer to get what they want. I think that there has to be more than one solution for this problem. From the content point of view – we have all this video out there – it is a mistake to think that all video is created equally and all this video has different ways that it comes about. TV and movies will take different paths. Movies are financed with front end deals that are premised on creating a product and these models the studios have involve a discreet transaction. TV has been historically a service – once free over the air or you paid for it via cable and the premise is based upon service fees. The whole economics of TV production – involves the steady flow of service fees. What we come up with – it has to take account of these different models and to accommodate these different models. I don’t have an answer to these issues. – Paul Sweeting
  • All the trends that these guys are talking about are going to have solutions. The premise behind the standards is that it will enable all the items we want. Netflix is a good example. The consumer wants to know if a new device will allow them to work with their Netflix account. My TV recognizes my NAS server for video/audio/pictures etc. It is about the network in the home. We need to make it available to the consumer. Using DRM inside the house will allow for protection.What we are trying to do is make content available on any device anytime – Fred Taylor
  • The concept of movies are a product  and TV is a service. Media as a product has been around for only a short short time in human history. Movies weren’t a product until VHS came along (many disagreed with this – myself included).  - James Burger
  • Movies are different – they are an industrial art form. They couldn’t exist until you could create an article of physical film. They are inherently an artifact. The ways movies have been financed is for a discreet product and all the deals around revenue are focused around this being a product. TV has always been around the concept of service fees. When you talk about moving a service between devices – you have an issue on how people are going to get paid. We have to understand that content comes about in different ways. – Paul Sweeting
  • Clearly one of the things that concerns us is giving a one time transaction that is lower than what was being charged for physical. There is only a certain amount of appetite for movies and media so it is hard to make it up with volume. It won’t be the same as the music industry and it is consumed so differently. – Alan Bell
  • A product is something tangible – a service is something that I can get digitally – Scott F.
  • The biggest threat is theatrical release windows – Ben Fritz did a piece on this  - if you buy a DVD and the company goes out of business – but if you buy something digital and the company goes out of business – then you might lose this. The studios need digital to happen but they have a lot of deals that are going to still need to be worked out. The studios are going to end up doing is reset all the windows – they will try to release digital first before everything else. If they release things digitally first – then everyone has to buy it. They have to make digital successful for this to work. I don’t think the studios have a plan – they are just being reactive.  - Scott F.
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 6:54 AM | Back to top

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