Looking Back, Looking Ahead

December 2006

For those of us who work in and around entertainment and entertainment technology companies, 2006 has been quite a year in the way that content is produced and distributed.

Looking back at 2006

Digital technologies have been front and center in this year’s movie releases, with computer generated animation having a record year in terms of releases and in terms of what appears to be work in process.  The increase in 3D stereo product makes for a most compelling viewing experience.  We expect this trend toward 3D to continue.

Technologies and distribution systems taking advantage of the continued high penetration rates for broadband such as streaming media from all of the major players, downloads to rent, own or burn, VOD, and the incredible rise of user generated content have changed the content landscape forever.  The DVR, now in some 12% of US households, indicates more than ever that the demise of appointment TV may soon reach its tipping point for all but the most time sensitive programs.

Meanwhile, the movie box office has recovered from its down year of 2005, standard definition DVDs have reached their peak and two competing high definition DVD formats are attempting to gain traction in the marketplace through the front door or the back door, through the X-Box and PS3.  Sales of HDTVs now account for more than half of all TVs sold, a trend that will continue.

Looking ahead to 2007

2007 promises to be even more exciting as penetration rates of the various distribution systems increase, including an expected upsurge in delivery of content to our mobile phones and other wireless devices as has been the “norm” in other parts of the world especially in Korea and Japan.  VOD and IPTV will each become more prevalent in our vocabulary.

With all of the content that has been digitized awaiting our anywhere, anytime demand for it, storage is bound to be a challenge.  To explore some of the many issues, I am moderating a panel discussion at this year’s Storage Vision Conference in Las Vegas in the days preceding CES.  My panel on January 7, 2007 is entitled Digital Content in the Age of Global Archives. 

For our friends who register for the conference, there is a $50 rebate available through Storage Visions.  Merely register online and then send an email to events@storagevisions.com mentioning The Shindler Perspective, Inc. and include your mailing address.

As for The Shindler Perspective, Inc.

During the past several months, our consulting practice has encompassed an ever expanding variety of projects ranging from traditional motion picture production to the impact of technology on future trends.  We consulted on the building of a new studio facility and on future distribution technologies to value a film library.  We also developed a business plan for an iconic family’s proposed project and collaborated on a major research paper entitled The Future of the Living Room.

Over Labor Day we visited animation and visual effects facilities in Shanghai and Nanjing China. I addressed The 2nd China (Nanjing) International Software Product Expo conference on the topic of Global Trends in Computer Animation and Software Tools and delivered an expanded address to the specialized and attentive audience comprised of the Nanjing regional animation industry.  We also visited several movie theaters in both cities to catch a glimpse of the movie going experience in those locales.

As an eventful 2006 draws to a close, we look forward to 2007 as being even more exciting as we complete our 11th year in our consulting practice of providing a business perspective to creative, technology and emerging companies.  You can count on us to continue to monitor the trends impacting entertainment and entertainment technology companies.

We look forward to working with you in the near future.

Roberta and I wish you the best for the holiday season and a successful and healthy 2007.



Marty Shindler

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