Piracy a top risk for M&E industry as consumers exchange DVDs for downloads: Ernst &Young
(Toronto, 12 October 2011) Lightning-fast technological advances are sending shockwaves through the media and entertainment industry and threatening its very survival, industry insiders said during a recent EY/Heenan Blakie town hall event at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“As technology advances and DVD shelf space depreciates, the media and entertainment industry will have to find new ways of not only creating powerful content — but also tailoring it to the way end users want to view it,” says Neal Clarance, leader of EY’s Media and Entertainment practice.
But new technologies mean new risks, especially when it comes to piracy. In fact, 80% of those polled at the recent town hall event agreed that piracy poses a huge threat to film.
“When you look at the big picture, these risks are a small price to pay for the wealth of opportunity new technologies bring,” says Clarance. “We’re already seeing increased investment in creating controlled distribution channels to combat piracy, like Ultraviolet — a new electronic warehouse that allows viewers to download content on one device, share it with other devices and watch it any way they want.”
In light of these fast-paced changes, Hollywood’s long-standing approach of creating million-dollar blockbusters for cinema and returning profitable returns is quickly diminishing.
“Consumers are calling for content that is accessible, affordable and caters to their technological craze,” says Clarance. “It’s not just the medium we’ll have to rethink going forward, it’s the whole production process. The movie industry is going to have to be leaner and meaner to thrive in this tech-savvy world. Tackling tough issues now and thinking of creative new ways to keep up with consumers’ demands is crucial.”
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