Monday, April 18, 2011

UltraViolet Helping Warner Bros' Push of Digital Everywhere

Consumers love simplicity. And the rise of Apps on smartphones, iPads, and PCs have enabled consumers to connect with the things they love - music, wine, TV, and movies. Warner Bros. is continuing its leadership approach by working with other movie content companies and distributors to create a seamless application, currently titled 'Digital Everywhere", to find, organize, watch, and share movies.

"'Digital Everywhere' isn't a retailer like iTunes, but rather it gathers all the various ways movies can be bought or rented. It also organizes an individual's entire library of digital movies and TV shows - not just Warner brothers. And it will consumers to access their library from any internet-connected device - a TV, laptop, iPad or smartphone - through a cloud authentication system, called UltraViolet, that will be released this summer from a studio consortium." It aggregates information, organizes your current film library, searches and shares recommendations of new films, and enables you to buy or rent to your platform of choice: iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, etc. With Ultraviolet, information is managed centrally and shared across different technological platforms. And by making search, organization, and purchase easier, consumers should appreciate the ease of use and sales should surely rise.

Warner Bros. maintains a leadership in Hollywood with a willingness to collaborate with its rivals for the good of the movie industry. Ultimately, the consumer will pick the content and not the studio; building an app that strengthens the movie industry as a whole will also bring good fortune to Warner Bros. individually. It is a smart strategic move.

Not yet included in this future App is the role that the cable on demand platform plays. As the TV on demand piece brings a big financial segment, let us hope that Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and other cable operators come on board. Ultimately the consumer will choose which platform to view a movie from. While the app makes it a more level playing field for distribution, it also pushes each distributor to find new ways to differentiate itself from the competition. Without cable in the mix, 'Digital Everywhere' could still succeed and cable operators could find that they are only hurting themselves.