The new name reflects the org’s broader scope and community to adapt to the evolution of the home-entertainment ecosystem, according to Mark Fisher, president and CEO of OTT.X. The group’s new website is at ottx.org.
The group originally launched in 1984 as the Video Software Dealers Association, initially supporting mom-and-pop VHS rental stores, then DVD and electronic sell-through retailers followed by transactional VOD. The EMA was established in April 2006 through the merger of the VSDA and the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA). With the new OTT.X moniker, the organization envisions itself more broadly representing the business interests of all consumer over-the-top video players, spanning digital retailers, channels, content providers, networks, platforms, and pay-TV providers.
The trade group’s current board members include execs from NBCUniversal’s Fandango, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Walmart’s Vudu, Amazon, Google/YouTube, Microsoft, Vubiquity, Cinedigm Digital Networks, Comscore, Premiere Digital Services, GoDigital Media Group and Movies Anywhere, the digital-movie service managed by Disney in partnership with four Hollywood studios.
“We are excited about the opportunity to leverage the experience and the community that we’ve built into supporting the growing segments of SVOD and AVOD,” Fisher (pictured above) said in a statement.
Cameron Douglas, OTT.X chair and VP of home entertainment at Fandango, added: “I look forward to working more broadly with digital retailers, MVPDs, digital channels and networks, distribution platforms including vMVPDs and consumer electronics manufactures, and all the companies creating and distributing content to these channels, as well technology-enabling services supporting our businesses.”
Under the OTT.X banner, the association will continue to focus on the business aspects of this industry by facilitating business exchange and community, sharing industry insights and research, organizing and managing industry interest groups such as digital supply chain and retailing best practices, and managing a leadership development foundation.
The name change and expanded charter was motivated by the org’s two-day OTT_X Market and Conference in July 2019 and the OTT_X @ Pipeline event that followed in September. The trade group has scheduled its second OTT_X Market and Conference for July 21-22 at L.A.’s Skirball Cultural Center.