Rob Salter, Category Director of Entertainment for UK supermarket giant Tesco, has suggested that lessons can be learned from the physical supply chain as the industry transitions to digital, with the retailers role concentrating on connected services.
Salter, a keynote speaker at the forthcoming Future of Entertainment Summit, told organiser Futuresource Consulting that the current industry issue providing the most significant challenge was the double digit market decline and a weak release slate, combined with a drive for product and service innovation for the long term future.
He suggested that the role of the retailer moving forwards would “undoubtedly be more about connected services and less about straight retailing of packaged goods”.
In terms of the current consumer expectation of online media, he said that the vast majority of consumers didn’t have a huge appetite or expectation at this point. “It is our job to educate and take people with us on that journey. If we’re smart we can use the familiarity of DVD /BRD to be the start point of that journey.”
As for lessons that have been learned from the physical supply chain that could be applied to digital, he suggested that a where everyone gets paid before anything has been sold is “fundamentally flawed and sub-optimises sales potential”.
He said that digital content could encourage repeat consumption. “With digital we have a chance to change the message every time someone logs on, unlike a disc which has locked content. With great curation, we can also lead people to new content with linked suggestions and recommendations in a much more dynamic way,” he advised.
Tesco is a member of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) consortium, which includes film studios, retailers, consumer electronics manufacturers, cable companies, ISPs, network-hosting vendors, and other Internet systems and security vendors.
DECE is promoting the UltraViolet digital rights authentication and cloud-based licensing system that allows consumers of digital home entertainment content to stream and download purchased content to multiple platforms and devices.
In December 2011, Tesco and its online video-on-demand subsidiary blinkbox announced a new service where customers who purchase a DVD or Blu-ray will also own the movie online. The new service is exclusive to customers enrolled in the store’s Clubcard loyalty scheme. Tesco was rewarded May 3 for its ‘Get the Physical, Get the Digital’ service at the British Video Awards with the ‘Retailer Initiative of the year’ accolade.