NEW YORK A Disney initiative that could allow consumers access to movies on any device imaginable comes not to bury the DVD, but perhaps to prolong its relevancy.
Disney could demonstrate the new technology, code-named Keychest, in as little as two months, and it could be available to consumers next year, a studio insider said. Using cloud-computing concepts that could be coupled with physical products, consumers would pay one price for rights to a movie they could play on multiple devices, even simultaneously, if desired.
“Dad has a Zune, Mom has an iPod, there’s a Mac and a PC at home and a Roku box; right now, those devices don’t talk to one another,” the insider said. “We intend to blend those worlds.”
The Wall Street Journal disclosed the early plans for Keychest in Wednesday editions.
Disney has been lining up studio and technology partners. Some are already involved with the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, a competing initiative from a group that includes Sony, Fox, NBC Universal, Warner Bros., Paramount and Lionsgate.
Studios have been searching for lucrative distribution models in the Internet era, fearful that consumers are weaning themselves off DVDs. But Disney believes Keychest technology could prolong enthusiasm for DVDs and Blu-ray discs by allowing consumers to purchase rights to view a film in sundry ways, including the use of traditional or high-def DVDs.
“Packaged goods will co-exist with digital platforms,” the studio insider said. “That’s what this is about.”