Sony Pictures, Disney, BBC Studios Join DEG International

The Digital Entertainment Group International (DEGI) Feb. 23 announced that BBC Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company, EMEA, have become members of the global arm and sister body to the U.S. based DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG).

The companies join existing DEGI members Google, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Joe Braman, co-chair of the DEGI, said 2022 promises to be a global renaissance for home entertainment, with the DEGI and DEG supporting the missions of stakeholders and driving common agendas for category growth.

“The DEGI welcomes these three new members and their engaged membership at such an exciting time for the category,” Braman said. “As the surge in new content continues across the next six months, their experience and ambition will be a huge benefit to our collective goals.”

In the United Kingdom, more than 30.1 million VOD movie rentals were recorded from January through October 2021, as well as 17.7 million digital and physical transactions, despite ongoing supply chain issues. The final week of 2021 saw the biggest uptick in digital movie sales in the United Kingdom since records began.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Laura Broadbent, project director, transactional digital acceleration program at Sony Pictures Entertainment, believes that the evolving consumer appetite for digital content is at the heart of movie and TV consumption going forward.

“This presents a phenomenal opportunity for growth across international territories,” Broadbent said in a statement.

Broadbent credited the DEGI with providing the studio with a strong platform for collaboration through the sharing of research, insight and knowledge, which, she says will enable Sony to help its audiences understand how and where they can rent or buy the wealth of content available to them.

Johnnie Thompson, director of digital stores for EMEA & Russia at The Walt Disney Company, said the consumer base is more than subscription VOD.

“With almost 18 million digital purchases in the U.K. alone in 2021, the category continues to thrive,” Thompson said. “So, it’s essential that we come together as an industry to share our knowledge and expertise to drive the digital category forward, and DEGI provides a great platform to do just that.”

DEG International, BASE Bow U.K., France Home Entertainment Retail Campaigns

Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home is still generating millions at the box office, but the webslinger’s home entertainment journey would appear to be just around the corner, according to a new home entertainment campaign in the United Kingdom.

While there’s been no official retail release date given for the movie, Amazon U.K. has been teasing a June 15, 2026, packaged media release date — with the ludicrous year likely to be changed at a moment’s notice.

FindAnyFilm.com, the website launched by the U.K. Film Council in 2009 to jumpstart local home entertainment retail interest in British movies, now primarily markets Hollywood releases. The latest YouTube promotional campaign cleverly leads with No Way Home footage, while previous releases Spider-Man: Far From Home and Spider-Man 2 both rank among the projected top 10 best-selling movies on disc and digital through Jan. 18, according to the Official Film Chart.

Per FindAnyFilm.com:

“Get ready to experience one of the most-talked-about movies of 2021, with Spider-Man: No Way Home battling his greatest foes yet or prepare to journey into whole new worlds — with sci-fi epic Dune. Catch up ahead of awards season and witness Lady Gaga in true to life revenge drama, House of Gucci, or discover the trials and tribulations of tennis icons, the Williams sisters — in King Richard. The kids will go barking mad for an adventure with Clifford the Big Red Dog or get back to business with The Boss Baby 2.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Separately, in France, the DEG International and the Syndicat de l’Edition Vidéo Numérique (SEVN), launched “Les VODays,” a new week-long digital campaign across nine of the top digital retailer platforms in France.

Digital retailers include Apple TV, CanalVOD, Filmo, Microsoft Movies & TV, VOD from Orange TV, Amazon Prime Video, Rakuten TV, UniversCine and Netgem.

The promotion includes movies from Universal Pictures Video France, Sony Pictures Entertainment France, SND Films and WarnerMedia France. The digital retailers will be offering a selection of new and catalog titles at promotional retail and rental prices across both electronic sellthrough and video-on-demand (VOD).

“Les VODays” is the first campaign in France to be delivered by the DEGI following the success of the Mega Movie Week U.K., Germany, Nordics and Australia campaigns over the last few years.

The consumer-focused campaign, backed by a nationwide media campaign, includes social media posts across Facebook and Instagram, Catch-up TV on MyTF1, 6 Play, France Television, and display advertising across the ALLOCINE network.

“The DEGI team is thrilled to be working with SEVN in France, and to share the expertise we have developed over the last few years across the wave of digital-growth, driven by the promotional and educational campaigns we have delivered internationally,” James Duvall, head of business insights and intelligence U.K. and international at DEG International, said in a statement. “Our insights around constantly evolving consumer behavior continue to drive our activity and recommendations, and we hope for many more opportunities with distributors and retailers in France, and internationally in the near future.”

 Yves Elalouf, president of SEVN, said the main objectives around the promotional campaigns are generating new customers and bringing back lapsed home entertainment consumers. 

“Creating awareness of the benefits of buying movies digitally is the primary goal,” Elalouf said.

DEG International Adds Co-Chairs Joe Braman, Ruth Sharp

The Digital Entertainment Group International (DEGI) July 5 confirmed a new line-up for its Board of Directors, with Joe Braman, VP of international account management at NBCUniversal, and Ruth Sharp, VP and head of digital distribution at Warner Media UK and Ireland, both joining as Co-Chairs, effective immediately.

Joe Braman

The DEGI exists to support and enhance the home entertainment industry, driving consumer engagement with new and emerging technologies across an increasing number of international territories.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Braman and Sharp join the board amid a year that has seen the DEGI successfully implement territory-first activations, including Mega Movie Week Germany and the Nordic Hitlist weekly film chart, among other promotions.

Ruth Sharp

Braman and Sharp join Amy Jo Smith as director, and Liz Bales as CEO, and will lead the charge on growing value for DEGI members, while driving a category-level strategy for market growth.

“With so much change in windowing and access to content, DEGI plays a vital role in bringing key stakeholders together to drive industry collaboration and category growth,” Braman said in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with Ruth, Liz and Amy Jo to continue the great work DEGI have delivered to date.”

“As the digital entertainment world changes faster than ever before … providing a forum for creating growth strategies and sharing insights, it’s exciting to be working with the DEGI group to extend our activations and grow consumer engagement in the category,” Sharp said.

Braman and Sharp take over from previous co-chairs, Chris Duffy and Nicola Pearcey. Duffy, formerly head of insight and planning at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, is departing the DEGI having made invaluable contributions to the market-shifting activations delivered by the DEGI team over the past few years. Pearcey steps down as co-chair after 10 years, and has steered the organization from its European roots to an international presence, and pioneered DEGI’s Future Building program.

Stepping down as president of Lionsgate U.K. and setting up new venture Picnik Entertainment, Pearcy will move into a senior independent director role on the board, bringing vital insight from the independent production community.

Speaking about the future of the DEGI, CEO Liz Bales said the strength and diversity of the DEGI board spans production, distribution and retail delivering value for stakeholders across the category.

“We are excited to be working such exceptional talent and extend a warm welcome to Joe and Ruth as co-chairs, and we look forward to benefiting from the collective experience and input of the board as we drive our next projects,” she said.