MADRID — More and more viewers will be lured away from broadcast and cable TV to ad-funded online entertainment, available to viewers for free. But online piracy — another form of free-to-view digital entertainment — is the industry’s biggest threat.
That was the opinion of industryites at London-based media research company Screen Digest’s annual Peve Digital Entertainment Conference, according to a confab report released Tuesday.
He warned that the challenge for digital rights holders was persuading consumers to pay for content available now for free.
But the confab, piracy and economic downturn notwithstanding, delivered a largely bullish take on the state of home entertainment industry, the report said.
Most speakers suggested the adoption of the Blu-ray disc format was in line with expectations.
In his keynote, David Bishop, prexy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, insisted that home entertainment is still a $50 billion-a-year biz. Blu-ray sales are being driven by consumers’ upgrade to HD TVs, he added.
Around half of U.S. homes now have HD TVs and 78.6 million households in Europe will have them by the end of the year, according to Screen Digest. The Peve Digital Conference ran March 12-13 in Paris.