The way iTunes changed music, Warner Brothers wants to change movies. Today the studio gave me an exclusive look at an entertainment app it's been working on for years - the ultimate destination for people to buy *all* digital movies, not just Warner Brothers'. It's an app code-named 'Digital Everywhere,' and it's set to launch this summer.
'Digital Everywhere' isn't a retailer like iTunes, but rather it gathers all the various ways movies can be bought or rented. It also organizes an individual's entire library of digital movies and TV shows - not just Warner brothers. And it will consumers to access their library from any internet-connected device - a TV, laptop, iPad or smartphone - through a cloud authentication system, called UltraViolet, that will be released this summer from a studio consortium.
Warner Brothers goal is to push consumers to buy instead of rent. The studio's looking to change the proposition of ownership, making owning a digital file more valuable than it is now, when it's stuck on the device where you bought it, and more valuable than owning a DVD, since you don't have to cart it around with you. The studio is eager to drive higher digital sales to compensate for the decline of the DVD business, which fell from $20.2 Billion in US revenue in 2006 to $14 billion in 2010. Now the industry's digital revenues are still relatively miniscule-- just $2.5 billion in the US last year. Needless to say that's not near enough to compensate for physical discs' decline.