Parks Associates Blog

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Who's going to control the "Digital Locker"?

We've been pleased to have Mitch Singer from Sony Pictures and the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) coalition speak at our recent CONNECTIONS events and speak about the potential of "digital locker" services. Roughly defined, these would be services that could authenticate and manage a wide variety of user-owned content in a virtual environment. One key element of the digital locker is widely agreed-upon digital rights management protocols, where multiple connected devices across a wide array of platforms can connect to content coming from multiple sources. The other key is the virtual storage and management of content that will become more important as the number of Web-connected media players (smartphones, tablets, TVs, Blu-ray players, etc.) proliferate.

The DECE is not alone in pursuing the development of digital locker solutions. The Walt Disney Company is promoting Keychest, which Disney CEO Robert Iger describes as a way to allow a consumer to purchase content and play it back on multiple platforms without having to worry about interoperability.

Now, there is the report from CNET that Apple is in discussions with the studios to enable iTunes users to store their content on the company's servers. Apple has told the studios that under the plan, iTunes users will access video from various Internet-connected devices.

We've taken an early look at consumer acceptance of a digital locker type of service, and have found that 30% find the idea highly appealing. I think that the trust issue is going to be more of a problem with the studios than the consumer!


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