This week marked the launch of UltraViolet, a new digital locker system that would allow users to purchase content in one physical or digital format and access it across all platforms via a cloud-based system. The service came about through years of negotiation and collaboration between major studios, manufacturers, and retailers, but not everyone in the industry was on board — Apple and Disney were among the two biggest holdouts.
We’ve now learned why Apple declined to participate, and it’s pretty much the same reason Disney did. Apple has quietly been working on its own cloud service, expected to launch in late 2011 or early 2012, and has been working out deals with studios to allow videos purchased through iTunes to be streamed on any Apple device including iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV.
“Digital music locker”? Gosh, even themovie studios’ metaphors sound dated. A locker? Really? That particular metal device is pretty ill-suited to convey the freedom of syncing and listening to your music anywhere you go. A locker? That idea… just stinks.
The site is planning a series of changes to its home page to highlight sets of “channels” around topics such as arts and sports. About 20 or so of those channels will feature several hours of professionally produced original programming a week, some of these people said. Additional channels would be assembled from content already on the site.
It is planning to spend as much as $100 million to commission low-cost content designed exclusively for the Web, people familiar with the matter said.
The pending changes are a big bet by the world’s most-popular video site to push in a new direction. Between the Wild West of user-generated content and the pricier precincts of full-blown TV shows, Google is hoping to carve out a niche of original, professionally produced Web videos that it hopes will cultivate loyal viewers.
Big, big news. With Netflix and Youtube both getting into the original content production game, new indie film students and fans everywhere should be rejoicing at this injection of capital into a talent-rich, but un-financed platform.
Until last week, Carloss was head of digital distribution at Viacom’s Paramount. Now he’s a Google employee, working on YouTube’s content acquisition team.
The singularity is approaching!
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