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Entertainment Merchants Association Eyes Online Video Repository

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) announced that it intends to launch an online video repository in the first half of 2017.

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Unedited press release follows:

EMA Announces Online Video Repository

ENCINO, CA (October 7, 2016) … The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) has announced that it intends to launch on online video repository in the first half of 2017. The announcement was made yesterday at EMA’s Digital Media Pipeline, held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

In remarks at the outset of the conference, Mark Fisher, President and CEO of EMA, stated,

“Online video needs a cost-effective and scalable distribution servicing solution built around common specifications.

Currently, the media file for each online video title is processed multiple times by multiple post houses for multiple retailers. There simply is no need for this redundancy. It’s costly, inefficient, slows flow of content, and leads to errors.

If the file for each title were prepared just once and all retailers were able to retrieve those files from a common repository, retailers, content providers, and the industry as a whole would see tremendous benefits:

• Retailers would benefit from significantly lower costs for media file processing, more rapid onboarding of content, and fewer errors.

• Content Providers would benefit from more rapid onboarding of content, greater access to and scalability of content, fewer errors, reduced barriers to new industry entrants, and – as a result – greater revenues.

• The industry as a whole would benefit from content being made available more rapidly to consumers, greater standardization of the digital supply chain, and a source of funds to support industry initiatives.

The EMA Online Video Repository is designed to provide these benefits.

I am pleased to announce that the EMA Online Video Repository will be operated by Premiere Digital Services under contract with EMA, which is the owner of the repository. Premiere Digital Services was selected by EMA after a competitive RFP process.

The Repository will include all available video, audio, metadata, timed text, and artwork files and delivery packages for feature and episodic content in all available languages. Any retailer, either domestic or international, desiring to receive files from the Repository would be able to do so for a low fee, provided they agree to abide by the Repository’s conditions and are authorized by the content owner to offer the files for the title sought to be retrieved.

Each file would be standardized to standards and specifications for delivery if it is not already compliant. These standards and specifications will be established by participating retailers. A certain amount of flexibility and customization of the files would be permitted within clearly defined constraints. In addition, the Repository will perform quality control and audio/closed caption/subtitle conformance to standards established by the retailers.

Initially, and for a guaranteed number of years, the Repository will charge a low, flat price for delivery of a video file with one language and associated artwork, metadata, trailers, and other ancillary materials. The price would be significantly – and I mean more than 50% – below current industry pricing. Additional languages, including associated ancillary files, would be available for an additional fee, again at a price far below current industry pricing.

We have gotten preliminary commitments from several major online video retailers to participate in the repository. We are targeting a phased roll-out of the repository to begin in the first half of next year, and plan to offer content from all the major content providers within a year of launch.

Today retailers spend more than three-quarters of a billion dollars alone acquiring varied and unique versions of mezzanine files each year for feature motion pictures alone. With the willingness to accept common standards and the to work together as a collaborative, these costs can be cut by over two thirds – cutting file acquisition costs to retailers each year on features alone by 269 million dollars.”

EMA’s Digital Media Pipeline, which is in its ninth year, brought together approximately 300 digital entertainment content owners, service providers, and retailers to focus on business-to-business opportunities in the digital delivery of home entertainment to consumers.

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) is the not-for-profit international trade association dedicated to advancing the interests of the $41 billion home entertainment industry. EMA-member companies operate approximately 52,000 retail outlets in the U.S. and 55,000 around the world that sell and/or rent DVDs, computer and console video games, and digitally distributed versions of these products. Membership comprises the full spectrum of retailers (from single-store specialists to multi-line mass merchants, and both brick and mortar and online stores), distributors, the home video divisions of major and independent motion picture studios, video game publishers, and other related businesses that constitute and support the home entertainment industry. EMA was established in April 2006 through the merger of the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) and the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA).