Packaged media superior to electronic
There's still life left in packaged media, largely because it provides a superior experience to programmes delivered electronically, according to studio technology chiefs at the Entertainment Supply Chain Academy conference.
Studios can still make money on DVD/Blu-ray Disc, despite the fact that users can get much electronic content for free, the execs said. Currently, downloads and streams generally lack the universal compatibility with various hardware devices that DVD/Blu-ray enjoys. Downloads also are at a disadvantage to physical because it is too easy for hardware devices to fail and destroy stored digital material.
"When we put out downloads, it was like the equivalent of VHS," Andy Hair, chief technology officer at Walt Disney Studios, said. "And we improved its portability and permanence when we went to DVD. We went backwards; we went to electronic sell-through."
Because of today's difficulties in accessing digital content on all platforms, studios should think about making new revenue off of improving downloads' usability.
"We want to create an environment that can play on any player in any environment," said Chris Cookson, president of Sony Pictures Technologies. "If you go to a different bank ATM than your own, people charge you to get your own money. But there is convenience in that. If you make content readily available for people, they will think it's easier [to access] than figuring out how to steal it."