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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Paramount chairman Brad Grey on technology

I wrote a bit about Paramount chairman Brad Grey's Tuesday night talk at the Forbes MEET conference in this Variety piece, but they didn't use a couple of the juiciest tech-related quotes.

Brett Pulley of Forbes asked Grey how Paramount is approaching new technologies. (Historically, Paramount has been the tech-laggard among the of the last, for instance, to distribute movies to theaters digitally.)

Grey asserted that Paramount is “embracing technology in a robust way,” but “trying not to fracture our business by doing it.” In particular, Grey said he wanted to expand access to Paramount’s movies in digital form, without losing revenues “from the physical DVD business that we now enjoy.” That's gonna be a tough balancing act for every studio. "We want to experiment, learn, and we wat to be profitable," he said.

Grey said he foresees “exponential growth” of digital revenues over the coming two-to-three years, and that his regime was trying to learn about as much as possible about new technologies, and to “make adjustments” to traditional business practices like release windows as necessary.

Earlier this week, Paramount signed up with AOL to make its movies and TV shows available as digital downloads (but not rentals) on AOL’s video portal.