Downloads will replace traditional media within 10 years, says EA VP

3 03 2006

EA’s European VP of sales, Dr. Jens Uwe Intat, has given the clearest signal yet of the firm’s commitment to digital distribution – stating that within the next ten years, “all entertainment media will be downloaded to a device.”

He gave the examples of Apple’s iTunes, the massive ring-tone business, and the growing trade in digital books as clear indicators of where media distribution technology is headed, and predicted that new business models would emerge to complement the existing up-front payment model as digital distribution became more popular.

“I think the music industry has actually let iTunes happen,” he said. “The music industry had been working on a model like that for years – they just couldn’t agree on a standard, on how to share the cake. They were fighting all the time, instead of going for it, and then a new company actually came into that space, started with a technology model – and then dictated the software, and how the content would be distributed.”

“Right now, iTunes is pretty much a monopoly,” he continued. “They have, I don’t know, around 80 to 90 per cent market share. We still have three large players in the console business, plus we have the PC as a fourth hardware device, not to mention the handhelds. This is a much more fragmented industry – we don’t have one company that has a monopoly – and we as a total industry, software publishers and hardware manufacturers, are already sitting together and working on business models. We’re actually trying to make the cake as big as possible, rather than fighting over the crumbs.”

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