Los Angeles - The
, a multi-industry group supporting the digital entertainment business, said Monday it has reached key milestones toward establishing the first open market for digital content distribution.
The coalition also said 21 companies have joined the group, bringing the total to 48 members. All are from the entertainment, software, hardware, retail, infrastructure and delivery industries.
The DECE said it has reached an agreement on a common file format, an open specification for digital entertainment that will be used by all participating content providers, services and device manufacturers.
It also selected Neustar as the vendor for a Digital Rights Locker, which is described as a cloud-based authentication service and account management hub that allows consumers rights access to their digital entertainment.
The DECE will provide an open Application Programming Interface (API) that allows any Web-enabled storefront, service or device to integrate access to the Digital Rights Locker into its own consumer offering.
The group approved five digital rights management (DRM) solutions that will be DECE-compatible, and will make full technical specifications available for the first half of 2010, according to a statement from the coalition.
These include: Adobe Flash Access, CMLA-OMA V2, The Marlin DRM Open Standard, Microsoft PlayReady and Widevine. Compatibility with multiple DRMs will ensure that content can be played back via streaming or download on a wide variety of services and devices.
Meanwhile, the common file format is said to be an open specification for digital entertainment, and like DVD or Blu-ray, the common file format may be licensed by any company to create a DECE consumer offering.
Since the format will play on any service or device built to DECE specifications - whether via Internet, mobile, cable or IPTV - it will make "buy once, play anywhere" content utilization a reality, the coalition said.
The common file format is said to optimize the digital entertainment supply chain, benefiting content providers, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and retailers.
Content providers only need to encode and encrypt one file type in portable, standard definition and high definition for multiple vendors.
These CDNs will not have to store different file types to accommodate varying needs of retailers, and retailers will be able to efficiently deliver content to devices from different manufacturers, the DECE said.
The DECE is currently made up of Adobe, Alcatel-Lucent, Ascent Media Group, Best Buy, Blueprint Digital, Cable Labs, Catch Media, Cisco, Comcast, Cox Communications, Deluxe Digital, DivX, Dolby Laboratories, DTS, ExtendMedia, Fox Entertainment Group, HP, Intel, Irdeto, Liberty Global, Lionsgate, Microsoft, MOD Systems, Motorola, Movie Labs, Nagravision, NBC Universal, Netflix, Neustar, Nokia, Panasonic, Paramount Pictures, Philips, RIAA, Rovi, Roxio CinemaNow, Samsung Electronics, Secure Path, Sony, SwitchNAP, Tesco, Thomson, Toshiba, Verimatrix, VeriSign, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Widevine Technologies and Zoran.
The body's new digital media specification and logo program will enable consumers to purchase digital video content from a choice of online retailers and play it on a variety of devices and platforms from different manufacturers.
"The digital entertainment marketplace is on the cusp of a new era of rapid growth," stated Mitch Singer, DECE president. "The key to unlocking this potential is giving consumers the 'Buy Once, Play Anywhere' experience they want. That's the goal of DECE and one we're making rapid progress toward today."