Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Piracy and Entertainment business models

Industry veterans discuss the best way
to monetize content over digital media
Allan McLennan led a panel discussing how data and technology can provide compelling business models for content owners and consumers alike that can span the variety of new -- non-managed -- devices where most viewing growth is taking place.

Tony Emerson -- who leads the media industry portion of Microsoft's anti-piracy efforts -- explained the challenges of keeping malware off computers and devices when some arrive with it already installed from the factory. Microsoft's cybercrime center is responsible for all type of malware and other cybercrimes, but of course the topic of most interest to the ETIA audience was content piracy. Emerson explained how the visualization tools used for tracing and tracking computer viruses could also be used for locating pirated content and piracy tools.

Gartner's Van Baker explained that newer viewers have shorter attention spans, want to multitask, and have less tolerance to barriers that are placed in the way of their consuming content. Meeting those needs while maintaining a business model that protects the content owner is a large challenge for the industry going forward.

Allan suggested a standard for viewer data might be helpful, but Decentrix's Taras Bugir pushed back, saying that each of the large companies it works with have different data and different needs. So he doesn't see a standard as being likely -- except for figuring out how to monetize "the viewing eyeballs." He pointed out that simply charging for premium content over digital is only one type of income stream -- leaving out the needs of advertisers -- who spend most of their money on traditional media but want to learn how to measure and use digital media to expand their reach.

Vubuquity's Darcy Antonellis made the practical point that scaling is a crucial issue for getting content provided on demand over digital infrastructure. Without a more automated and efficient process it is hard to generate profit. She also stressed that if content providers could get information about when users are ready to buy they could optimize their deliver networks and the experience of their users. Bugir said the difficulty starts with the simple issue of who in the content delivery chain owns the customer data -- since you can't analyze customer data if you don't have access to it.

SMPTE's own Pat Griffis helped wrap up the session with an offer for SMPTE to help with the portion of the business model work that would benefit from standardization. The panel agreed that there would be benefit in building a standard for measuring from the impression up so all media could be evaluated by content providers and advertisers.

-- David Cardinal, ETIA 2014, SMPTE & SCIEN


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