Microsoft helps Hollywood tame digital media explosion

15 Apr 2008

The increasing popularity of digital downloads and online content distribution has given rise to two main challenges for music and entertainment companies worldwide according to Microsoft: managing the digital supply chain and keeping on top of IP rights and royalties.

The Redmond-based company’s new Dynamics software is aimed at Hollywood studios, record companies and the like and combines financial, customer relationship and supply chain management functionality.

Microsoft said the Dynamics package was a system for managing the new kind of workflow that has emerged in recent years as media companies have gone digital because apart from effectively tracking where your online audio and video lives, a company needs to think about the end user.

Content can go through many different channels, for example, stay on a media firm’s site while also being available as a clip on YouTube or through an RSS feed. So, an important emerging role is one of “repurposing and delivering content for multiple user experiences” says Gabriele Di Piazza, managing director for media and entertainment in the communications sector at Microsoft.

One such media company that has started using this Dynamics software is Paramount, which has in the past filed a US$1bn lawsuit for copyright infringement against YouTube due to unauthorised user uploading of movie clips owned by the company.

“Our business has become much more dynamic as a result of the growth of media distribution channels through broadband and mobile devices,” said Abe Wong, chief information officer of Paramount Pictures.

“It was clear that we needed to move away from manual processes and invest in a system that could facilitate the delivery of a variety of content through new distribution outlets to help us transition into the digital world.”

Microsoft introduced its new technology at NAB 2008, the world’s largest electronic media show which is running this week in Las Vegas.

By Marie Boran