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Powering What’s Next in Converged Media

With all the talk about TV Everywhere, it’s easy
to forget just how hard it still is for many consumers
to access the movies and TV shows they have
purchased on all their devices. Often, incompatible
operating systems and other issues make it
difficult, if not impossible, simply to move content
between mobile devices, PCs and TVs.

Finding ways to overcome that problem and
get more content onto more devices has dominated
the career of Timothy Dodd, whose successes
in the area of converged media landed
him on the 2012 Next Wave 0f Leaders list.

“Converged media has been the major theme of
my career,” notes Dodd, first as VP of technology
policy at Time Warner Cable between 2003 and
2008 and then
at Warner Bros.,
where he was VP
of corporate business
and strategy from

While at Warner
Bros. Dodd was
involved in the
formation of the
Digital Entertainment
Ecosystem (DECE),
a large consortium
of about 75
major consumer
electronics manufacturers, Hollywood studios,
multichannel operators and TV companies. Dodd
was then so involved in the DECE’s UltraViolet
project that he was hired by one of the effort’s
major players, Neustar, in 2010.

This ambitious effort allows anyone who
purchases an UltraViolet-enabled DVD or Blu-Ray
disk to then have cloud-based access to an electronic
copy of the content on a number of authenticated
devices. Neustar has a central role
in the effort by supplying the technologies for a
secure digital locker that lets consumers access
and manage their personal digital entertainment
libraries from the cloud.

The initial work has drawn some criticism
for its clunky authentication process, but Dodd
notes they are about to deploy a greatly simplified interface and that they have made considerable
progress, adding Walmart and Amazon
as retail partners and increasing the UltraViolet
titles to more than 5,000.

Meanwhile, Neustar is also involved in providing
technology that will allow broadcasters to
authenticate devices for the launch of mobile
DTV services this year. The company is also looking
to help other industries, including gaming
and book and magazine publishers, offer consumers
access to digital content in the cloud.
“UltraViolet is just one example of how digital
distribution is going to the cloud,” he says—
and yet another example of Dodd’s many accomplishments.