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Thursday, August 17, 2006

D cinema watermarking ... MTV's multimedia awards show

- Thomson is trying to make its watermarking technology the standard for digital cinema servers, according to this TechWeb piece. It's designed to help authorities track down the place and time when a camcorder was used in a theater to create a bootleg movie. Great quote:

    "Watermarking is important, but it's a little like closing the barn door after the horse escapes," [consultant Bill M.] Murray said. "All watermarking does is allow the studios to do is track the pirated movie back to the theater where it was copied."

Here's another version of the story.

- When MTV broadcasts the Video Music Awards on August 31st, they'll be available not just on multiple cable channels controlled by Viacom, but also on the Web and cell phones, according to this Wall Street Journal piece. Emily Steel writes:

    The elaborate multimedia programming and marketing deals reflect MTV's recognition that its target audience of young people can't be reached solely through TV anymore. "Clearly our audience is consuming entertainment across multiple platforms, so it is no puzzle to us that we have to increase that," says Christina Norman, president of MTV.

    MTV has good reason to protect the VMA franchise. The show drew 14 million people ages 12 to 34 last year, making it the top-rated cable program of 2005 among that age group, according to Nielsen Media Research, and reinforcing its reputation as the "Youth Super Bowl." Increasing its audience further, MTV airs reruns of the show on TV for about a week and on the Web for even longer. This year's show, to be broadcast from Radio City Music Hall in New York, features comedian Jack Black as host and performances by Beyoncé, Ludacris, Justin Timberlake and others.

    MTV experimented with a multimedia approach at last year's awards, putting some of the show on MTV Overdrive and offering some multimedia packages to marketers. But this year's effort is much more elaborate, reflecting how quickly digital media has grown. Web video, for instance, has taken off in the past year.

These awards shows used to be thought of as "event programming" that would forever retain the power to draw people to television, even when they weren't loyal to weekly series... But now, it seems, conventional wisdom is changing. Perhaps the new assumptions are, even awards shows need to be in-your-face, and that all content needs to come to the viewer, in whatever form he or she wants it.


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