M+E Daily

Rovi and Sonic: From Content Delivery to Discovery

By Mel Lambert

The recent acquisition of Sonic Solutions underscores Rovi Corp.’s continuing transition from a content protection company — marketing means of discouraging the illegal consumption of content — to a developer of technologies that help encourage legal consumption among end users.

For the past three decades this MESA advisory member has aided the media and entertainment community in thwarting casual copying of content. Now, Rovi says, the company is enabling M&E companies to address the change in end-user demand for entertainment, be it delivered via digital or physical media.

“We have expanded our capabilities with metadata, to help the industry provide consumers with a better entertainment experience, and to help connect consumers to content,” states Gerald Hensley, VP of Entertainment Sales. “With [the Sonic] acquisition, and particularly with RoxioNow, we can offer an end-to-end solution that supports all service providers across the ecosystem.”

Gerald Hensley

“Our clients benefit from an infrastructure that lets consumers discover, manage and enjoy digital music across multiple platforms and devices,” adds Adam Powers, VP of Technology. “Sonic adds that ‘Hollywood to the Home’ delivery link to form a one-stop, multiformat solution. One important complement is Sonic’s RoxioNow, a content ecosystem that gives film studios, retailers, hardware manufacturers and consumers a seamless delivery mechanism.”

“Sonic’s range of digital video processing, playback and distribution technologies will be added to our existing guidance solutions, including TotalGuide, as well as a wide range of discovery, metadata, advertising and networking technologies,” Hensley affirms. “TotalGuide enables the consumer to search and browse across content providers through a single interface, and also lets content providers promote their content. Rovi offers a layer of connections that spans across content providers, service providers, CE manufacturers and portals to make it easy for their consumers to get to and enjoy digital content.”

Adam Powers

Sonic has licensed its RoxioNow digital media delivery infrastructure to a number of major retailers, motion-picture studios and CE manufacturers. More than 10,000 movies and TV programs are accessible on RoxioNow through connected CE devices such as DTVs, Blu-ray players and mobile phones. By June 2011, this Rovi cloud-based service is expected to be available within more than 30 million connected devices.

“Integration between RoxioNow and TotalGuide has already occurred as part of the TotalGuide’s general availability release,” Powers states. “RoxioNow’s retail customers are supported through TotalGuide’s rich TV listings, enhanced data and imagery, as well as extended multimedia.”

In the future, Rovi plans to power RoxioNow’s user experience with the same web services that support TotalGuide. “We believe that this integration will help us to accelerate the uptake of premium content; thus benefiting studios, content providers and companies across the entertainment supply chain,” Hensley says.