Last week BitTorrent participated in the 7th annual Digital Media Conference East in Washington D.C. The event attracted leaders from across the country to engage around topics of interest touching media, technology and entertainment. The opening address played to a standing room only crowd and emphasized the growth and continued focus on the changing worlds of entertainment and technology. Specifically, BitTorrent participated in the panel discussion Content in the Cloud.
The Content in the Cloud panel explored questions around emerging business models, how entrenched industry participants might leverage new technologies and infrastructure, and the role of regulators in shaping the path forward. Panel participants included representatives from Panvidea, Alcatel-Lucent, Thumbplay, and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Each panelist brought a unique view of the marketplace to the event and provided a depth for the audience to consider.
Use of Distributed Computing in the Entertainment sector
Large, established competitors are using distributed models for traditional business processes to drive financial and operational performance. In terms of content distribution, more activity is likely to occur smaller industry participants who seek to lower barriers to entry and attract a fan/user base. Larger companies are leveraging distributed models to enhance recognition and appeal of their offerings through existing distribution channels, i.e. using the Internet to drive viewership of their main properties.
The Magic Jukebox in the sky with all the content a user could ever want
Many observers wonder will there ever be a giant repository with any and all forms of content for users. Across the panel, the consensus was that the Internet, today, exists as this Magic Jukebox. However, users are still challenged on the front end with search and discovery of content. Winners in this space will create dynamic user experiences where content is both more easily discovered and accessed. Regulatory hurdles do make portability and ease of access a significant challenge, but the market should ultimately dictate the rules.
Paid Download, Subscription, or Ad-supported
Which business model will be most effective in generating value? There is not a clear winner and more importantly, the panel espoused the virtues of each of the Big Three business models. Different communities of interest as well as types of content will lend themselves to each in varying ways. Product development and the user experience will provide choice to the consumer and they will vote by their action. Will the user pay a fee for a 1080p, commercial free version of new release that is easily viewed on their flat screen television? Or will they opt for an ad-supported, lower quality version for their tablet PC? The different consumption models and tastes of users will create number of opportunities for monetization from the mobile phone to the living room.
– Claude –