Sony wants to do for movies what itms did for music

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
from Cnet:



I wonder how deep apple and h.264 is in this mix...?





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SANTA MONICA, Calif.--Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment is trying to develop and own the next iTunes--but for films.



"We want to set business models, pricing models, distribution models like (Apple Computer CEO Steve) Jobs did for music, but for the film industry," Michael Arrieta, senior vice president of Sony Pictures, said at the Digital Hollywood conference here.





"I'm trying to create the new 'anti-Napster,'" he added.





To that end, Arrieta said, his group plans to digitize Sony Pictures' top 500 films and make them available for the first time in various digital environments within the next year. He said the distribution for films like "Spider-Man 2" will go beyond just Movielink, the video-on-demand joint venture of Sony Pictures and several other major studios, which to date has hosted a limited library of Sony's movies.





For example, Sony plans to sell and make films available in flash memory for mobile phones in the next year, Arrieta said. It also will further develop its digital stores for downloading and owning films on the PC, he said in an interview.





Sony's plans--and similar moves by other studios--are likely to avoid empowering any one technology company--such as Apple in the music equation--and allow studios to pocket more of the profits. The philosophy in Hollywood is "Define your own agenda or someone else will for you."



Equally important is trying to avoid the rampant digital theft in peer-to-peer communities that the music industry has suffered, media executives say.





At the Digital Hollywood conference--a three-day event that began Wednesday--media executives including Arrieta ruminated on ongoing hurdles to giving consumers access to unlimited films, TV shows and multimedia on a range of devices, anywhere at anytime.



They agreed that issues surrounding digital rights management, consumer adoption, and simple and compatible consumer electronics remained bottlenecks in the industry.









Still, Hollywood is working with technologists to help deliver the promise of the "digital home" more than ever before, according to entertainment executives. It's just that the two sides may still be speaking different languages.





"The plumbing of IT is converging," said Adam Bain, vice president of technology and production at Fox Sports Interactive. "But there are so many different devices the trends are of a divergent nature."





Advertising's future

Media executives during the "Digital Home" panel also discussed the future of 30-second TV commercials in a digital environment that lets consumers skip over the ads.



Charles Swartz, executive director and CEO of the University of Southern California's Entertainment Technology Center, said that because ads are the most effective sales tool ever invented, they will not disappear. But, he said, there's an opportunity to customize and target the ads to people's homes with advanced technology.





"Commercials aren't dead; they'll just get more interactive and effective," said Shahid Khan, managing director of Bearingpoint, an entertainment consulting firm. "But someone has to figure out how to better measure this animal."





Whatever the case, entertainment, advertising and technology will increasingly meld into a seamless product, executives say, and it remains to be seen who will be the powerbroker. Sony Pictures, whose parent company develops a wide range of consumer electronics, reiterated that it's trying to set its own agenda for new entertainment distribution.





"The future is about creating an entertainment ecosystem," in which players, platforms, content rights and the user interface are fluid, Arrieta said. The industry's "in a transition period, but there's a high-level dialog (with technology partners) going on now."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,278member
    Hey let's face it from a consumers perspective iTunes Music Store, Napster force them to make compromises that they shouldn't have to. I shouldn't have to worry about what store I need to buy music from for my player. I shouldn't worry about the formats. This is the folly of the music industry that was half assed about creating a legit digital download business.



    Sony is going to make the same damn mistake for movies and it won't work. We don't need digital movies in multiple formats. There needs to be an agreed upon standard that all movie houses utilize.



    AVC is a step in the right direction but the underlying codec is just one piece of the whole structure. We need to define how multichannel audio is synced to the video. How subtitles and chapter access works. Different languages and multiple viewing angles. I don't trust Sony to deliver software that is capable in this regard. They do well with hardware but Sony pretty much blows in software that they haven't outright purchased.



    I'm hoping that the group working on MPEG-21 succeeds in creating a multimedia interoperable framework for the safe use of digital media. We can only hope.



    http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg/sta...21/mpeg-21.htm
  • Reply 2 of 15
    I'd be 'all about' getting movies digitally... if they could serve it as fast as I could pull it, coupled with I need an *effective* way of getting these onto DVDs or streamed to my TV.



    iPod was the medium for music. What 'device' would Sony need to 'get the video to where you watch it'?
  • Reply 3 of 15
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,278member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Not Unlike Myself

    I'd be 'all about' getting movies digitally... if they could serve it as fast as I could pull it, coupled with I need an *effective* way of getting these onto DVDs or streamed to my TV.



    iPod was the medium for music. What 'device' would Sony need to 'get the video to where you watch it'?




    Playstation 3
  • Reply 4 of 15
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Not Unlike Myself

    I'd be 'all about' getting movies digitally... if they could serve it as fast as I could pull it, coupled with I need an *effective* way of getting these onto DVDs or streamed to my TV.



    iPod was the medium for music. What 'device' would Sony need to 'get the video to where you watch it'?






    psp!



    and with apple's help the little set top box running os X and QT
  • Reply 5 of 15
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Playstation 3



    This sounds logical... but all the rumor sites mention no such functionality as home PC integration for the PS3. Would they expect you to use your PS3 as a browser for finding and getting movies and thus cutting out the personal computer? If so.. then they wouldn't be doing an 'apple like' things at all. The iPod compliments your computer, it doesn't replace it.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    gizzmonicgizzmonic Posts: 511member
    Sony is far out of touch with what its customers want. After ousting their CEO, they were forced to admit that their profits will be much lower than they had earlier reported.



    PSP sales haven't met expectations; they've been forced to do an about-face on replacing the LCD screens, which apparently have a high dead-pixel rate.



    Sony's still a juggernaut to be sure, but they are far too user-hostile to pull off a success like the iTunes music store. Connect.com is an also-ran among unremarkable online music stores and always will be. But they will continue to pump money into it, because Sony has to do things "their way," just like they did with the MiniDisc, Betamax, Memory Stick, etc. Consumers will not put up with an all-Sony movie ecosystem any more than other major Hollywood players would.



    I imagine that they would support an Apple ecosystem (assuming such a system ever leaves the lab) more, because despite Steve's ties to Pixar Apple is not seen as a competitor to studios.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    Anyone heard of "Fair Use"? Why should we have to re-buy the same movies we already own on DVD on UMD or on flash memory to watch them in other places. The real winner here will be the first studio to offer software to convert their DVDs to other more portable friendly formats, or the first studio to actually include a few different data versions of the movie (.AVI or something better) in different sizes right on the disk. Digital distribution will be wonderful, so long as we have the same rights with it as we would with a physical copy.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,304member
    One word, "Desperation."



    Sorry SONY but your faithful DVD player owners aren't avid Playstation players let alone interested in a movie subscription service.



    What makes audio different from video should be the obvious portability advantage that audio has that doesn't increase risks of safety.



    I can see it now, ``In other news, a jogger wearing special glasses with screen projection capabilities ran off a cliff this afternoon. Police suspect the jogger lost all sense of his wearabouts and was too focused on the movie at hand.''



    (inflated sarcasm now over)



    What's next? This digitally downloaded movie can only be played in the following countries? GPS required for use.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    Quote:



    "Commercials aren't dead; they'll just get more interactive and effective," said Shahid Khan, managing director of Bearingpoint, an entertainment consulting firm. "But someone has to figure out how to better measure this animal."





    I disagree; TV commercials are dead (or at least dying).

    Apple have proven that a company doesn't need rampant TV advertising to sell a product. I haven't seen a single TV ad for the G5 iMac or Mac mini but they're still well known products. Even the iPod gets only a small amount of advertising but everyone knows what they are.



    Being different,looking good and performing well is what makes Apple's products stand out. Not how often they're seen on TV.



    In fact, IMHO, TV is dead. This week in Melbourne one TV station just did to Battlestar Galactica what all the commerical stations do to Sci-fi : bump it to a later timeslot, soon they'll be mixing up the episodes and I'll be downloading them or buying the DVD's and watching them when I want - without ads.



    This is where a video download service would work. I'd buy a the shows I want.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    Being able to buy movies direct from a PS3 makes sense (why buy it on my computer and then transfer it to the PS3?). And the Cell is powerful enough to convert H.264 to MPEG-2 so you could burn downloaded movies to DVD. But in order to really take the computer out of the equation you would need both a hard disk and a DVD burner in the PS3, which may or may not happen.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,278member
    oops



    I think I agree with some people that I'd rather download shows I miss on TV. I'm fine with accessing movies that I want to see
  • Reply 12 of 15
    Wasnt that one of /.'s april fools...?
  • Reply 13 of 15
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Bart Smastard

    Even the iPod gets only a small amount of advertising but everyone knows what they are.



    I still see a lot of iPOD tv ads these days. I do think that you do need more than just tv ads for a successful marketing campaign though.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    19841984 Posts: 955member
    If there's one thing I know it's that people want to watch movies on their mobile phones.*



    * 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo not included.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    I agree with previous posters that Sony can't be unto movies what apple is unto music. They are completely different markets. There are different costs, different levels of practicality to portable hardware for them, difference bandwidth requirements to distribute and play them, etc.



    Music can accompany you in day to day life. It can be stored in small gadgets, or played back on audiophile-grade, jaw-dropping full room systems. It can be played live in a club or smoky jazz bar while you seduce some scrumptious vixen. It sets a mood without dominating the space.



    Movies are... insular. They require your full attention visually as well as aurally. You can't drive and watch movies. You can't negotiate traffic and pedestrians while walking and watching movies. They are an at-home experiance. I'm not saying there isn't a market for streaming movies; there is, but not of Apple/iPod/iTunes proportions. Moreover, people's desire to watch movies over and over, particularly the disposable tripe that has spewed forth from Hollywood over the last 15 years (CGI-heavy movies, I'm looking in your direction), is far less than their desire to hear their favorite songs over and over. "XXX - State of the Union" no doubts sucks pretty hard the first time... no one wants to see it an eighteenth time.



    I fully expect Sony to lame this idea up with proprietary lameness and standards-incompatibility a la SACD, Memory Stick (why god, why?), etc.

    Sony can't do a goddamn thing right except discmen.
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