The examples are numerous. Certainly the rise of the digital video recorder (DVR) is a clear sign of how content, services, and hardware are coming together to enable the consumer to create an individualistic experience. Today, approximately 25 percent of U.S. households have a DVR - up from nine percent of U.S. households just 36 months ago. While these technological innovations are often disruptive in the short-term, they are driving these three previously segregated and detached businesses together to prepare for future obstacles and opportunities.
The move to provide 360 solutions is clearly one of the driving forces behind the enormous upswing in media and services, with content producers, service providers and device manufacturers forming partnerships. This year, a flurry of those partnership announcements was made around CES. For example, Macrovision and CinemaNow announced a partnership to offer downloadable CinemaNow content directly to Macrovision-enabled consumer electronic devices. Netflix also announced they were teaming-up with LG to offer Netflix-enabled set-top boxes that would allow consumers to stream Netflix movies to these LG set-top devices.
These partnerships are also showing up earlier in the design cycle with the potential of influencing all elements of the consumer experience. Take for example the Google-initiated Open Handset Alliance, and the WiMAX-focused Xohm Alliance. In both cases, device manufacturers, content owners and service providers came together in the very early rounds of the alliance to collectively frame the discussion.