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Delivering Digital: “Future Proof” Advancements in Mobile and Cloud-Based Viewing
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Delivering Digital: “Future Proof” Advancements in Mobile and Cloud-Based Viewing

While the vast majority of video consumption still takes place on TVs, consumers are increasingly turning to alternatives that enable them to watch what they want in the way that best suits them. To that end, two industry groups are working hard to give consumers additional options: the Open Mobile Video Coalition and UltraViolet Alliance.

Vincent L. Sadusky, CEO of Lin Media and representative of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, shared how the not-for-profit group is working to develop, refine, and implement a standard for over-the-air transmissions for mobile devices. The service will be available in some markets this fall, though Sadusky acknowledged these are still early days for the system as building an ecosystem of content providers, device manufacturers, and other stakeholders takes time.

For advertisers, over-the-air mobile TV will provide an avenue to connect with engaged consumers on the go—potentially while they’re in stores. As a first phase, consumers of mobile TV will see the same commercial load as on traditional broadcast TV, but the business model is rapidly evolving.

The UltraViolet Alliance, which counts Simon Swart, executive vice president and general manager of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, among its members, is working to bring more content options to consumers via the cloud. He noted that for years, they’ve included a digital copy of a movie with the purchase of the DVD, enabling consumers to watch how they want. UltraViolet wants to “extend the consumers’ rights to the content…You’ve bought it, so watch it where you want,” Swart said.

And, it’s not just consumers who stand to benefit. Both Sadusky and Swart said that monetizing these emerging technologies is still a work in progress, and investment is key to their companies’ business models. According to Sadusky, 27 percent of Lin Media’s revenue now comes from non-traditional sources, significantly more than just a few years ago. While traditional still need to be fostered, investing elsewhere is essential to growth. “That’s something we’re challenging ourselves to do,” he notes of local broadcasters across the country.

Swart agrees. A full 80 percent of For 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s revenue currently comes from physical goods (DVDs and Blu-rays) but “it’s all about integration.” The future, Swart said, lies in a business model that incorporates both traditional and emerging technologies.