Europe's premier online source of news, data & analysis for professionals involved in DVD, Blu-ray and new delivery technologies

VDC Group, the UK's largest independent optical disc replicator, has just launched a new digital platform, NtertainU. Whether it's showcasing the latest cinema releases or an old classic from the archives... Read more...

The UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published clear advice on the new Private Copy Exception for consumers who own DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, which are normally protected from copying by Technical... Read more...

Rogue 'cyberlocker' operators peddling stolen content are making nearly $100 million in annual revenues by operating as hubs for the for-profit distribution of infringing digital copyrighted content, ... Read more...

Warren Lieberfarb is universally recognised as the 'architect of the DVD' and in 1999 received a special Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of his unique role. ... Read more...

Disney's Frozen is the UK's biggest-selling DVD and Blu-ray disc of the year so far, having racked up sales of 2.44 million, according to Official Charts Company data. The animated musical, inspired... Read more...

Making inroads in the UK at a snail pace, the cloud-based digital locker system UltraViolet may get a boost with the introduction of UV functionalities on supermarket chain Tesco's video streaming service... Read more...

Growth in digital subscriptions, rentals and purchases will hold total consumer revenue from traditional home entertainment sources steady, according to new analysis released at the PEVE Entertainment... Read more...

Piracy is choking Europe's cultural industries, according to a study entitled The contribution of the creative industries to the EU economy in terms of GDP and employment published this week by... Read more...

Last month, the Industry Trust for IP Awareness and Universal Pictures launched a Dracula Untold trailer in cinemas nationwide in the UK. This is the 17th collaboration as part of the industry'... Read more...

Swiss packaged media manufacturer Adon Production and Sony DADC, the leading disc and digital service provider, offering digital and physical supply chain solutions, software services, and optical media... Read more...

The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks ending 6 July 2014, shows that traditional high street names such as GAME and HMV are beginning to steal back share from the supermarkets... Read more...

From our correspondent BOB AUGER.Day three at IBC 2014 and weekend visitors throng the aisles as they try to understand where the media hardware and software business is going over the next 12 ... Read more...

From our correspondent BOB AUGER. According to the organisers, almost 53,000 people attended IBC in Amsterdam in September 2013. This year promises to be at least as busy - no wonder it is so hard... Read more...

From our correspondent BOB AUGER. The crowds arrived on cue at the opening of IBC 2014 on Friday, to find an unfamiliar landscape. The construction of yet another exhibition hall alongside Hall... Read more...

From our correspondent BOB AUGER. We have all come a long way since the early days of the International Broadcasting Convention, yet still the crowds flock to the RAI Centre Amsterdam, ready to... Read more...

In the context of the climate change debate, the ecological footprint generated by industrial activities has become, of late, a subject of scholarly examination and regulatory attention in several countries... Read more...

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Videos

Interview: Dominic Wheatley on leading Testronic

Dominic Wheatley, CEO of Catalis, explains how Testronic overcomes challenges and consolidates its place in the market with an exp Watch Now

An industry executive speaks

In a series of Q&As, frontline practitioners in all facets of the packaged media and digital delivery industry share their views of things past, present and yet to come. It's the turn of SVEN DEUTSCHMANN, CEO of arvato Entertainment GmbH, in Germany.

Where do you see your company's comparative advantage in this highly competitive market?
For us, arvato Entertainment, it was always key to be in a driver's seat when it comes to new formats and innovative developments. The current discussion about the new formats, essentially the new games console format Xbox One as well as the newly-introduced Ultra HD formats in 4K, are the focus of our attention. In this respect, a 3-layer 100GB Blu-ray Disc is also a new topic drawing our attention.

Amongst the range of services you offers, which one did grow in importance over the past 2 years, which one diminished, and which new service(s) will you be offering in the coming 2 years?
We will continue with the existing formats of optical discs in accordance with the requirements and the demands of our customers. This means that CD, DVD and BD will remain a significant part of our offerings for many years to come. The decline of the CD and DVD segments are expected to go on, although the CD market is apparently more resilient in the recent months than predicted. Also, as we have stepped into the archiving business a few years ago, we will expand this field with further services.

Do you think UltraViolet has the potential to increase sales of BD discs (as the studios intended) or be the death knell of the packaged media?
I'm skeptical that UltraViolet will support sales of BDs, why should it? From the standpoint of the consumer, the question is how often do I watch a movie, once, twice? But certainly not ten times. However, that is what I do with music titles. So, for a video title which will be seen once or twice (and the first time might be in a cinema), why should I go to all the hazzle of getting the movie onto my tablet, using gigabytes of storage?... Read More...

THE INSTALLED base of Blu-ray-equipped devices (Playstation, xBox One, Box Internet, BD players, home theater units) has topped 10 million; the sales volume of Blu-ray players outpaced DVD players. More than two million devices incorporating a Blu-ray player will be sold in 2014. The sales of Blu-ray Discs already account for more than 25% of the total physical video sales and for some blockbusters it exceeds 60%. Blu-ray Partners France forecasts a Blu-ray household penetration of over 40% in France in 2015.

SINCE 2012, the Redbox DVD rental business that has enjoyed huge success in the US, has been making inroads north of the border. Canada is the third largest DVD rental country after the US and Japan, generating an estimated $1 billion so it only makes sense to grow the business here, says Ron Cihocki, country manager for Redbox in Canada. There are 1,350 boxes across Canada now, and every box has 200 of the newest movie titles available and 800 discs. The rental price is $1.50 per day for DVDs and $2 for Blu-ray discs. Customers swipe a credit card to get a movie and then must return it to any location by 9 p.m. Movies can also be reserved online at redbox.ca.

SPEAKING at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2014 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in Los Angeles, Alan Bergman, president of The Walt Disney Studios, said he remains committed to selling its brand to consumers across every product category, including packaged media. The animated hit movie Frozen is a case in point. In addition to generating more than $1 billion at the box office and being the highest-grossing animated movie ever, Frozen has become Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment?s top-selling title in more than 10 years, according to Bergman.

JAPANESE electronics giant Panasonic said it will close its Blu-ray and DVD player plant in eastern Slovakia as a result of declining sales. The factory in the town of Krompachy, which employs 650 people and also churns out television circuit boards, will close on December 31, Panasonic's Slovak unit said in a statement.

INDUSTRY figures put the number of German, Swiss and Austrian users who have opened an UltraViolet account to 160,000. The cloud-based digital locker system for streaming/downloading movies started in these territories in November 2013. To date, some 300 titles appear to be available with UV capability. Since its launch in 2011, there are now about 19 million UV-registered users, overwhelmingly in the US.

NEW research from BroadStream Solutions reveals that despite the growth in TV viewing via PC, tablet and smartphones, 82% of Americans say they prefer to watch live television on a TV set, compared to only 14% who use a laptop, 10% a desktop, 8% a mobile phone and 7% a tablet. The survey also revealed that the majority of viewers (64%) still like to watch their favorite shows in groups i.e. families and friends sitting down together to watch. Comparable data from the UK, compiled by YouGov, reveals that 89% of Brits still regularly use the TV to watch their content live ? with 85% also stating that the TV is their preferred screen.

THE 35 MILLION US paid members who are using Netflix's streaming service contributed a profit of $227m in Q2 of this year to the company coffer. This compared to $92.8m contributed by a mere 6.3 million customers still using Netflix's DVD-by-mail service. Through a small and decreasing number, DVD members are important to Netflix's bottom line. In its latest quarterly report, the company says that while it lost 475,000 DVD memberships in Q2 2013, the number for this year's Q2 was 'only' 391,000 and it still expects a DVD contribution to profit of $90m for Q3. "DVD and Blu-ray offer amazing and comprehensive selection that keeps a core membership uniquely satisfied," says Netflix.

IN AUSTRALIA, a judge has jailed a DVD pirate for eight months saying the Melbourne man was motivated by "greed, not need" when he sold thousands of black-market films and computer games. Phong Ly, 34, pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching Commonwealth copyright laws after police seized more than 61,000 counterfeit DVDs from his shops and home. His lawyers had told the Victorian County Court the crimes were committed out of financial need and in ignorance of Australia's copyright and trademark laws. Judge Richard Maidment disagreed.

FLORIDA-based venture capital firm Entevia, has launched new disc-by-mail service, Vidiux.com. It offers more than 7,000 DVDs and Blu-ray Discs for rent ($2.99 a week for DVDs, and $3.49 a week for Blu-ray) with no membership fees. Users pick the titles they want, have them shipped to their homes within 2-3 days, and return them with the enclosed return envelope by the end of the 7-day period. There is no 28-day delay to abide by for new releases, titles can be reserved, and titles that are out of stock are shipped once they become available. Each film has its own Web page with cover art, a detailed synopsis and a YouTube trailer, if available.

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