It was a confusing week to be a consumer electronics reporter. At the start, I was convinced that no one wants to spend on anything besides an iPad and by the end, I learned that there are people out there buying $85,000 TVs.
DLD (Digital – Life – Design) is a three-day experience gathering 800 entrepreneurs, investors, philantropists, scientists, artists and creative minds from all over the world. With global diversity in attendees and an interdisciplinary perspective of digital, media, design, art, science, brands, consumers and society, the conference is known as the European forum for the “creative class”.
Here are some of the day’s top stories in the media industry:
Microsoft takes on Google as Office moves to Web (Reuters)
Jim Finkle reports: “Microsoft will offer for free to consumers Web-based versions of its Office suite of programs, including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software and a note-taking program. Microsoft will also host one Internet business version of Office at its own data centers, charging companies a yet-to- be-announced fee.”
News about the media industry:
Netflix looks to future but still going strong with DVD rentals (USA Today)
“Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings doesn’t think his 58 distribution centers are in immediate danger of becoming obsolete, but he knows that day will come. He believes DVD rentals have four to nine years to keep growing, despite inroads in Internet delivery of movies to set-top TV boxes and other video-on-demand options,” writes Jefferson Graham.
Shane Kim, VP of Strategy and Business Development at Microsoft Corp’s Interactive Entertainment Business, said it’s too soon to write off the Xbox.
Too little too late, at least for 2008. Hollywood’s long awaited decision to back a winner in the single next-generation DVD wars didn’t come fast enough to stem a further decline in DVD sales this year, according to Pali Research’s Richard Greenfield.Greenfield now expects consumer spending on DVDs to fall 4 to 5 percent this year, compared to a 2 percent decline in 2007, despite an anticipated tripling of Blu-ray DVD sales this year. Blu-ray won’t start slowing the decline until 2009-2010.Slowing sales of older titles, Wal-Mart’s decision to clean up its aisles by eliminating “dump bins” of discounted titles, and anticipated Internet service bandwidth increases that could boost piracy of video are also expected to pressure sales of physical media.Perhaps there is still time for DVD and Blu-ray to make nice with consumers. Sony’s U.S. chief said consumers prefer physical discs to Internet delivery, and that it could take a decade before downloading hits its stride.(Photos: Reuters / This is what they do to pirated DVDs in Bucharest.)