After a few years of studio experimentation, Blu-ray’s live interactivity features are coming into their own.
Speaking at the Entertainment Retailing and Supply Chain Conference in London, representatives from two of Hollywood’s top Blu-ray producers offered insights on how to engage consumers with “BD Live” applications.
Russell Stewart, Director of Product Development at Sony DADC, stressed that BD Live apps should be generally tailored to fit the movie-watching experience of the living room. To date, online chat functions and other would-be social media apps on discs have met with a tepid reception, Stewart says.
Like standard DVD bonuses, the best BD Live apps directly relate to the feature, and deliver supplemental information in an unobtrusive way. For example, Sony Pictures’ upcoming Blu-ray of Julie & Julia (Dec. 8th) will feature a “recipe finder” function that lets movie watchers email themselves with a copy of recipes via remote control, as characters work through them during the movie.
Some audiences have responded well to trailers for upcoming films, which can be delivered to Blu-ray players to screen ahead of the movie on disc, Stewart said.
Even if Blu-ray publishers don’t plan on using BD-Live now, they should consider including a “bootstrap” code on discs, which cues players to check for online updates, said Todd Collart, SVP of New Media at Deluxe Digital Studios.
While BD-Live can drive commerce, Collart cautions publishers against approaching BD Live purely from a monetization standpoint. As with most every marketing tool, BD Live applications deliver the best results when they are part of a larger marketing campaign across multiple media.