Industry Leaders Point to 'Experience,' 'Emotion' and 'Always-On Communication' as Key Drivers for Broadband Adoption

Streaming Media West Panel Debates 'Inventing Desire For Broadband' In Today's Climate


Industry leaders gathered in Los Angeles to debate and discuss content as a catalyst for compelling greater broadband adoption in the coming years. Moderating the Streaming Media West panel -- entitled "Inventing Desire: Content's Role In the Broadband Revolution" -- Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment Executive Vice President Patrick Kennedy asked the panel to address such topics as what will compel greater broadband adoption, what will consumers pay for and what business models will be built.

Panelists addressing the conference audience included: David Lynch, creator,; Eric Bassett, Managing Consultant,; Andrew Frank, Technology Officer for Viant's Media & Entertainment practice; Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times, and S. Scott Spector, Executive Director for PricewaterhouseCoopers Media & Entertainment practice.

Kennedy kicked off the session by looking back at the evolution of television and how Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theater was television's killer app. "Berle turned a TV set into more than a piece of talking furniture," said Kennedy. "Today's content creators are taking a lesson from television's evolution and are asking not only how can we define the broadband medium, but how are we going to make it an inextricable fixture within our culture."

Commenting on what will drive consumers to broadband, David Lynch said, "To me, broadband means quality. And, quality is extremely important to me. I don't know what is going to jazz people but I think it's going to be the experience. Broadband gives people access to so many things that give them a great experience. It's just a question of time and I think it will be beautiful."

Continuing on that point, Andrew Frank noted, "There is so much going on in the history of what's behind broadband, including communications services (email and messaging), voice services, and media services, that people don't have a clear picture of what the future is. It's a classic mistake to assume that consumers are going to be the visionaries in defining the services in the future. The services are going to have to come from creatives who know how to create experiences for consumers to realize that there is something there."

Frank added, "When you are looking at killer apps, they will be in the areas navigation, guidance and personalization would be key. As you see more and more channels appear, and more and more sources, there is a great human need for guides and personalization. That's where broadband and its interactivity really help create a unified platform for profitability potential for entertainment services."

Jon Healey commented, "One of the key parts of creating services is looking at what people do. They say that the killer app for cell phones is being able to make phone calls. The Internet really is a communications medium. What is it that they do with their broadband and what they can't live without, it all comes down to communication."

Kennedy spoke to broadband's impact and connectivity not being exclusively tied to the PC. "A lot of music distribution on the Internet is taken elsewhere, to other devices. Creative content in other mediums will mirror that of music, with entertainment moving seamlessly from multiple devices."

The panel also addressed building viable business models. While Bassett pointed to the benefits and freedom of a paid subscription model, S. Scott Spector, noted that the successful business models would be the ones that ensure fair use for the long term.

As it related to advertising as a source of revenue and the Internet, Healey noted, "in looking at the future of advertising as a key component to business models, if you have something that will draw users, then advertisers will come too."

Commenting on whether people will pay, Bassett said, "Broadband is driven by emotion. And that will happen with somebody on the Internet -- I'm going to get what I want no matter what the cost. It becomes an emotional thing where money doesn't matter anymore. People will make that leap with broadband."

About Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment

Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment (SPDE), an operating unit of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), oversees the activities of SPE's digital production and online assets including Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Online Entertainment, the Digital Networks Division, which includes SoapCity and Screenblast, and Sony Pictures Integrated Network (SPIN), which represents the studio's online promotional presence. SPDE focuses on three areas: 1) producing and developing visual effects and computer-generated imaging (CGI), digital character animation, and original content for motion picture, television, online and PlayStation audiences; 2) developing new forms of online content, games and interactive programming; and 3) leading SPE's efforts to provide online, open-access video-on-demand, interactive television and wireless entertainment.


Entertainment Available For Post-Panel Interviews/Comment.

SOURCE: Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment

Contact: Kristen Tarnol of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment,
+1-310-840-8234,; or Liana Miller of eLuminate,
+1-949-595-4320,, for Sony Pictures Digital