Paramount just announced a restructuring, with a number of divisions coming together under one name to more readily respond to the growing forms of distribution for content under the name Worldwide Home Media Distribution. There are a couple of key components that make it interesting; the formalization of bringing digital distribution under Home Entertainment (which probably should have been done a few years ago) and moving the command of their global or non-US business from London to Los Angeles.
While the digital distribution numbers have been slowly ticking upward, as larger pipeline broadband penetration increases and users become more comfortable with digital distribution (see Netflix), this segment is ripe for explosion. Any home entertainment company that does not smartly fold digital into their Home Entertainment divisions is doing a disservice to shareholders.
Only time will tell how the global shift in Paramount’s global operations will work out. Home Media Magazine quotes Paramount Studio Chairman and CEO, Brad Grey:
“This new structure will allow us to more effectively take advantage of worldwide opportunities, adjust to the changing marketplace and propel us forward on a unified, global basis,” Grey said. “Our international operations can now be more closely aligned with our strategic operations at our Los Angeles headquarters.”
Hopefully, the international business does not just become obtuse as domestic initiatives and executions are effectively forced upon the markets without consideration of the international nuances.
If this was done for the right reasons and with the right considerations of what it really means, it could work out. If short-sightedness and ego prevail, it could cause trouble.
Lastly, the interesting thing to me is that they are positioning themselves as forward-thinking with the global and inclusion of digital distribution. if that is the case, couldn’t they have come up with a better fitting name than HOME Media? As we move further into an anytime/anywhere marketplace, isn’t Home too limiting? I realize its not easy to come up with a name other than Home, but couldn’t they have been really forward-thinking and come up with a name that will not seem dated in six month? I don’t believe Worldwide Anywhere But The Cinema Media works. How about Worldwide Remote Media or Worldwide Connected Media – oh well, it’s a start…