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Download-to-own is Key to Future of the Film and TV Industry, says Report

David Murphy

New Internet and mobile video services will pose an increasing challenge to the traditional film and TV industry, argues a new report from media research company Screen Digest and consultancy Rightscom. The way forward lies in developing effective digital download-to-own services that mimic the DVD business model that has generated billions of dollars of profit for movie studios and broadcasters.
Sometimes called electronic sell-through or digital retail, the download-to-own business model allows companies to charge a higher price (and hence extract a better profit margin) than other forms of video-on-demand. Pioneering examples of such Internet services include Movielink a joint venture founded by a group of the largest Hollywood studios, the new UK venture recently announced by Universal Studios and new entrant LoveFilm and the German In2Movies offering being established by Warner Bros.
Critical to the success of these new Internet video-on-demand ventures will be the deployment of flexible and robust digital rights management (DRM) systems. Screen Digests report Digital Rights Management and New Entertainment Business Models is the first comprehensive analysis of the way that DRM technologies are being used to reinvent the film and TV industry in the 21st century. The report looks at DRM on the internet and other platforms, including mobile networks.
This year will be the first year that Internet video delivery really starts to take off. Powered by DRM technologies, the telcos and big Internet players, together with hungry new Internet start-ups, will challenge the traditional gatekeepers comments report joint author Chris Barlas of specialist DRM consultancy Rightscom. The fact that DRM was discussed at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos underlines its critical importance."
Digital download-to-own is the new holy grail of the film and TV industry as it fights to respond to the twin challenges of piracy and new market entrants adds Ben Keen, Chief Analyst of Screen Digest. However, the consumer must be at the centre of all new strategies and DRM systems that are not sufficiently flexible are doomed to failure.
The report examines the lessons learnt from the music industrys digital experience and also analyses the way in which DRM systems might allow movie release windows to be radically changed in future. All the key players in the DRM space are scrutinised and the report highlights the groundbreaking business and distribution models developed by firms like Akimbo, BrightCove, CinemaNow, Comcast, Greengrass, Lovefilm, Kontiki, RipeTV, and TiVo.


To find out more about the report, contact Screen Digest on: +44 20 7424 2820.

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