Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 22, 2009 03:25 PM
DVD movie sales are dropping as computers and cell phones become the primary channels for all things visual, especially the way consumers access movies. That's why the entertainment industry is scrambling to figure out a new delivery system that protects their revenue.
And smack in the middle of the fray is none other than Disney, who is ready to unveil "Keychest" next month. According to The Wall Street Journal:
The technology would allow consumers to pay a single price for permanent access to a movie or TV show across multiple digital platforms and devices... It could also facilitate other services such as online movie subscriptions.
Who else is lurking in the background of this story? Why Apple, of course. As Disney's top shareholder, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is likely to encourage Apple's support of Keychest. This sets up a potential battle with a competing initiative known as DECE (Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem), says The Journal.
DECE has similar goals to Keychest, but it is driven by Disney's rival, Sony, in association with five Hollywood studios and several technology companies. Disney says, however, that Keychest uses existing digital formats, while DECE involves new standards and formats. Keychest will literally generate a "key" when a movie is purchased so the consumer can view it in any available format.
Both Keychest and DECE lag behind online subscription service Netflix, which already offers the ability to rent DVDs or watch movies instantly on a computer or television. However, the entire Netflix library is not available for online viewing, and instant TV viewing requires another device at an additional cost.
Keychest may prove to be further evidence that two companies -- Disney and Apple -- dominate innovation in the entertainment world.