Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 20, 2010 02:00 PM
In a rapidly changing entertainment world that increasingly is turning to online digital delivery, Hollywood doesn't want to be skipped or edited out. Hollywood studios have been watching their DVD sales vanish as consumers continue to move to downloadable and streamed media.
That's why an impressive list of 58 entertainment industry players including studios such as Lionsgate, Paramount, Warner Brothers and Universal, multiplatform distributors (such as Comcast and Cox) and tech companies (Cicsco, Intel, HP, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung) have formed the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem.
What's DECE? A fancy way of saying competitors are working together to find common digital ground. Their first salvo in the battle against the Web: a new standard for online streaming, which they're calling UltraViolet.
UltraViolet would function as a way for consumers to buy a movie a single time in digital form and get the rights to use it across many delivery systems. DECE consortium members are pitching UltraViolet as Hollywood's de facto digital standard, not unlike BluRay or MP3.
The idea: consumer would purchase a virtual "token" for a video title (movie or TV show), register it with UltraViolet, and then be able to stream it over the Internet and receive it on any number of devices including PCs, TVs, smartphones, and tablets.
Initially, UltraViolet would function for movies and television shows, but the hope is it could be extended to music and e-books. DECE says it will beta test UltraViolet before the end of this year.
One not-so-little issue is the two entertainment giants who are notably absent from the initiative: Apple and Disney. Both have their own reasons for being holdouts: Apple has its own huge digital operation, the iTunes Store, and already can deliver digital media for use on Apple devices. Disney, meanwhile, has been working on its own type of digital locker called KeyChest.
Will Apple and Disney spurn the industry's efforts to create a standard and go it alone? As they say in Hollywood... to be continued!