Dolby Marks Dolby Vision, Atmos Gains to Close Fiscal Year

Increased adoption of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos in consumer electronics devices helped the company’s fiscal fourth quarter results Oct. 25, with Dolby reporting revenue of $242 million, up from $233 million the same quarter of 2016, with a profit of $21.8 million, down from $23.9 million a year ago.

Kevin Yeaman, Dolby president and CEO, spent much of his time on a call with investors noting the gains the company’s proprietary audio and video tech has made over the last 12 months.

Apple announced during the quarter that it would include the high-dynamic range (HDR) technology on the iPhone 10, the iPhone 8, the Apple TV 4K, as well as the iPad Pro. “Apple’s adoption will significantly increase the availability of Dolby Vision experiences to customers around the world,” Yeaman said during the investors call. “Already, iTunes has over 100 movies available in Dolby Vision, and Netflix is streaming in Dolby Vision to these devices.

“This is another important endorsement that Dolby Vision is the best way to enjoy HDR content. Apple’s announcement caps off a year of great progress with Dolby Vision.”

During Dolby’s fiscal 2017, Sony announced support for Dolby Vision on its TVs and debuted Dolby Vision Blu-ray Disc players, along with Phillips, Oppo and LG, and European TV manufacturer Vestel added Dolby Vision support as well, making it the 10th 10 Dolby Vision TV partner. Set-top box manufacturer Huawei also announced it would include Dolby Vision in its IPTV box.”

“This is the first Dolby Vision-enabled set-top box, and lays the groundwork for IPTV and other pay TV operators to deliver Dolby Vision content,” Yeaman said.

On the Dolby Atmos front, LG released the first TV with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision earlier in the year, and Dolby closed fiscal 2017 with more than a dozen sound bars carrying Dolby Atmos, the company’s object-based surround sound technology. Netflix began streaming in Dolby Atmos this year as well, becoming the fourth streaming services to offer content with the sound tech.

Lionsgate, Sony Pictures and Paramount are all releasing UHD Blu-rays with both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and Disney recently released its first digital titles with both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. BT also began broadcasting live sports in Dolby Atmos this year.

For Dolby Cinema, which incorporates both Vision and Atmos, Dolby ended the fiscal year with nearly 120 Dolby Cinema-enabled screens worldwide, with double that number expected to open in fiscal 2018, thanks to partnerships with CGV in China and FA in Europe.

Lewis Chew, Dolby’s EVP and CFO, noted that $213 million of the company’s fiscal fourth quarter revenue came from licensing, with broadcast representing nearly 50% of that revenue.

For 2018, “We anticipate that broadcast revenues will be flat to modestly up as higher revenues from consumer imaging will be somewhat offset by lower recoveries,” Chew added. “PC licensing is projected to be down slightly, while consumer electronics is projected to be up modestly.”