Kaleidescape, whose dvd-ripping system for the rich has embroiled it in eight years of legal battles with Hollywood, has come up with a new offering the studios seem to like.
The Kaleidescape Store, opening today with more than 3,000 digital movies and 8,000 TV shows from Warner Bros, offers a solution to a thus far intractable problem for the majors – how to persuade consumers to buy rather than rent their digital entertainment.
A recurring theme of the FT’s Digital Media and Broadcasting conference was how to recapture some of the magic of buying a film or album on a physical disc.
On Thursday, Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros’ home entertainment unit, spoke of having to “change the definition of what ownership is”, echoing remarks the previous day by Tesco’s entertainment director, Rob Salter, about consumers’ sense of ownership of media becoming “challenged” by the advent of iTunes.
The music industry has taken another beating in the blogosphere over the last 24 hours after the head of Warner Music lashed out against online music streaming services such as Spotify and We7.
“Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry, and, as far as Warner Music is concerned, will not be licensed,” Edgar Bronfman Jr, Warner Music’s chairman, said on the major label’s analyst call yesterday.
“The sort of ‘Get all of the music you want for free and then, with a few bells and whistles, maybe we can move you to a premium price’ strategy is not the kind of approach to business we’ll be supporting in the future.”
Where Apple leads, mobile companies will follow, it seems. Vodafone said on Wednesday that it would remove copyright protection on over 1m of the songs it sells through its mobile music store. The company has agreements with three of the “Big Four” music companies – Univeral Music Group, Sony, and EMI – but talks with Warner have been slower.
Its likely Warner will agree in due course, as recently all four of the music majors agreed a similar deal with Apple.