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CloudComputing_2The Walt Disney Co. has created a new technology designed to usher in an era of simpler, more convenient movie downloads. Codenamed “Keychest”, the new content delivery system will be similar to the “cloud computing” nature of many web-based applications that store files and media on remote servers, allowing access from anywhere with an Internet connection.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “Keychest aims to address two of the biggest hurdles blocking widespread consumer adoption of movie downloads: the difficulty of playing a movie back on devices other than a PC or laptop, and limited storage space on those computers’ hard drives.”

Keychest aims to be simple and straightforward. Consumers pay a single price for a movie or TV show and receive permanent access to their media on a variety of digital platforms and devices.
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This would free downloaded films from their traditional confinement to hard drives/flash memory and allow instant, on-the-go access to purchased content on mobile phones, netbooks, etc. A potential downside for consumers is the fact that Keychest would allow studios to decide which devices and which distribution networks purchased content would be playable on.

According to the Journal, “Bob Chapek, president of home entertainment at Disney Studios, says the company doesn’t expect Keychest to deliver tangible financial results for five years. But he predicts that in combination with Blu-ray, digital distribution ‘should bring our category back up to a healthy state where we can expect growth in the future.'”

“Our vision for the future is that consumers won’t have to think about where they bought [a movie], how they bought it, or when they bought it,” says Mr. Chapek.

More details about the technology, possibly including the names of partner companies, are expected next month.
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Would a digital distribution service like Keychest interest you, Insiders? Give us your thoughts on the potential upsides and downsides to this new technology.

[via The Wall Street Journal]

9 Responses to “Disney Wants to put Movies in the Clouds”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    Davis Freeberg [visitor]

    Believe it or not, Keystone is a direct response to Redbox. Right now, Redbox is using the first sale doctrine to ensure that they’ve got access to movies. What Disney is trying to do is create a new standard where they license the film instead of selling it to you. By doing so, it will prevent distributors from selling Disney films downstream to people like Redbox. Personally, I think the entire thing is terrible and shows how out of touch Disney is with digital. Are consumer’s hard drives so full that they can’t download a two hour movie to watch or stream? Is the DVD system so broken that we’re demanding new formats? Of course not, thanks to people like Redbox, it’s never been a better time to be a film lover and instead of embracing this huge new audience, Disney is instead trying to regain control over their content. 20 years ago, they would have had a shot of pulling it off, but there is too much independent competition out there for this to ever take off.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Casey4147 [visitor]

    So what’s going to stop them from Kindling a “permanently purchased” title? Will they continue to Vault titles, and if so will I be able to watch a vaulted title that I’ve paid for? Don’t take my control away- the reason for my movie collection is that I don’t always want to watch what’s on, and if I can’t depend on watching a movie I know I have… And heaven help them if they impose artificial restrictions (what do you mean it won’t play on my Mac?)

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    The [visitor]

    Lots of problems with this and whoever thought of all this has no clue what they are talking about.

    1. More DRM, thanks Disney!
    2. It’s not “difficult” to play back any movie. and even easier without DRM.
    3. We have more and more storage space 1TB this month will be the same price as 5TB in 6 months.
    4. Not everything has a net connection, and the net isn’t always available.
    5. Without DRM you could purchase one time and have “permanent access to their media on a variety of digital platforms and devices”, no new technology needed and Disney saves on R&D and the letdown when the DRM is broken 2 days after it’s released.
    6. You will not get any more “tangible financial results” than just selling or allowing downloads as you do now, so don’t expect this to increase sales.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    DiscOwner [visitor]

    Would this allow you to burn a copy? If not then seems they control it regardless of how you call it its a rental that they can cancel if or when they chose.(vault)

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    James [visitor]

    I don’t think the other studios would go for this. If you licensed a film “forever,” then would there be a need to re-purchase the same video for a newer format in the future. So far, we’ve seen videotapes, DVDs and now Blu-Ray. Studios envision format upgrades into their financial projections, but with Keychest future revenue streams would end. Would your children inherit your Keychest media access when you died? Also, if they had to upgrade the technology (say, 3-D) for a film you have already licensed, then that becomes a technological burden and financial loss for them in the future — “forever.” Don’t see this happening.

  6. Member [Join Now]

    I don’t understand the “cloud” concept … exactly. What does that mean — will it be a deal like NBC had/has where they store part of the show on your computer for other users to access?

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jack [visitor]

    I sure hope people don’t fall for this. How many times have we seen companies shut down their servers and leave people who have purchased media (music) out in the cold. Microsoft & Amazon come immediately to mind – and they went as far as to warn people to make backups. You can bet disney would NEVER allow this. The “cloud” can disappear at ANY TIME people… and all your PURCHASED MEDIA will disappear!!!!!