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News in Brief - may 2015


GLOBAL ADVERTISING revenue from online video doubled to $11.2 billion between 2011 and 2014, and will jump to $13.8 billion in 2015, according to findings IHS and Vidiro. IHS forecasts that by 2017, online video advertising revenues will reach $19 billion, with TV advertising budgets beginning to see cannibalization by digital in some markets. TV will make up only 28% of total advertising in Western Europe at that time.

ACCORDING to the latest Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database from IHS, LCD TV panel shipments from global panel makers reached 23.9 million in March 2015, growing 20% month-on-month and 11% year-on-year. In 2014, total shipment reached 253 million units, with a target of 261 million units this year. Despite the hype for Ultra High Definition, 4K LCD TV panel shipments, led by Samsung and LG, grew from 1.7 million in February to 2.6 million units in March - still a modest 11% of total LCD TV panel shipment that month.

A BILL SEEKING to impose stringent penalty on digital (online) copyright piracy is being proposed by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC). The Bill (Nigerian Copyright Act) would enable the commission collaborate with Internet Service Providers to identify the sites being used to carry out online copyright infringement, shut them down in order to bring the problem to the barest minimal. Also, the NCC has concluded arrangements to impose 2% Copyright Levy Order on photocopying machines, phones, DVDs and other digital product manufactured locally or coming into the country before the end of May, 2015.

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group estimates US consumers spent $1.6 billion on buying Blu-ray Discs and DVDs in the first quarter of 2015 - 13% down from the $1.8 billion they spent in the first three months of 2014. On the rental side, DEG statistics, quoted by Home Media Magazine show most people rent their Blu-ray Discs or DVDs through Redbox and other kiosk outlets. Spending at these vending machines rose 7.7% to an estimated $535.5 million in the first quarter of 2015, from $497.2 million in the first quarter of 2014. Consumer spending at video rental stores amounted to an estimated $168.9 million, an 8% drop from $183.6 million in the first three months of last year. Disc-by-mail subscription spending fell 15.3% to $190.3 million in the first quarter of 2015 from $224.6 million in the first quarter of 2014.

IN THE FACE of Cambodia's ineffectual law enforcement, sales of illegal DVDs continue unimpeded, film industry professionals complained at a conference in Phnom Penh last week. While the government makes an effort to enforce intellectual property laws on books since 2003, the DVD industry is left to fend for itself. "The most important thing is to make people understand how to spend on the original DVD," said Simon Choo, a local distributor. "The money going to [the purchase of] the DVD is money that you are contributing to the industry, helping filmmakers to make another great film." Pirated movies cost between $1 and $1.50, and can be purchased as soon as films are shown in cinemas. Legal DVDs takes longer to enter the distribution circuits.

COLUMBIA University has joined the One-Blue product licensing program as a licensor. Columbia brings important patents essential to the Blu-ray Disc standard. "Columbia aims to ensure that the important scientific and technological advancements made by University researchers transition into the marketplace, where they can be a benefit to everyone," said Orin Herskowitz, Executive Director of Columbia Technology Ventures and Vice President for Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer at Columbia University. One-Blue administers the licensing program for patents essential to Blu-ray Disc products.

THE BLU-RAY DISC format is a potential new target for hackers following disclosure of a vulnerability exploit code can be created to run on discs which could be used by an attacker to provide a tunnel into a network or to ?exfiltrate' files. Abertay Ethical Hacking Society reported during the Securi-Tay conference at Abertay University, Dundee, in Feburary that by combining different vulnerabilities found in different Blu-ray players they could create a single more ?intelligent disc' capable of knowing what player it is inserted into. The disc can then launch a ?platform-specific executable' to initiate the malware while, crucially, also playing the video that the user expects to see, so avoiding suspicion.

UNIVERSAL will take over the distribution of DVDs and Blu-rays for Paramount in foreign territories as part of a new five-year deal brokered by the companies. The deal will begin with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment handling distribution of the physical discs in the United Kingdom on July 1. Other territories will be added over time. The two homevideo divisions of the studios already had worked together on the release of homevideo fare in some foreign markets in the past on select titles. The companies will continue to handle the release of their own DVDs and Blu-rays individually in the US.

THE TELEVISION DVD market is "very much alive" despite the proliferation of video-on-demand services, according to Stuart Shaw, MD of rights management firm RLJ Entertainment International. He said the continuing lack of interest in the DVD market is leaving "a bigger slice of the pie" for his company. "Every time I hear someone writing off the DVD market it annoys me, but it creates an opportunity for us," Shaw told C21. "The UK DVD industry is still worth £1.5bn ($2.19bn), and that's huge. Even though the individual title is doing less well than it did historically, we are buying bigger and bigger titles."