Dolby Labs Appoints Shriram Revankar SVP

Dolby Laboratories has appointed Dr. Shriram Revankar SVP of the Advanced Technology Group.

Steve Forshay, who previously served in the position, will support this leadership transition and will retire in June.

Most recently, as VP and fellow at Adobe, Shriram founded several of Adobe’s global research labs, including the Big-Data Experience Lab and the Document Intelligence Lab. Through these centers he built and led the team that identified and delivered innovations that enabled the growth of Adobe’s Experience Cloud and Document Cloud businesses. As the leader of Adobe’s advanced technology capabilities, he identified and built near-term and future technology needs for multiple businesses and SaaS-based offerings that rely heavily on data science, immersive media experiences, artificial intelligence and computer vision.

“Throughout Shriram’s career he has identified and delivered technology innovations to enable significant business growth for new and established businesses,” Kevin Yeaman, president and CEO of Dolby Laboratories, said in a statement. “I’m confident that Shriram’s leadership, passion for innovation and domain experience will help fuel Dolby’s future technology offerings and create more immersive experiences.”

“Dolby continuously innovates to deliver the best audio and imaging technologies,” Revankar said in a statement. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to build on Dolby’s strong product foundation and lead the team inventing the next generation of immersive tools, content and services.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Prior to joining Adobe, Shriram was a Xerox fellow and founded and led its Smart and Adaptive Systems Lab. As chief architect of the production solutions business at Xerox, he developed a platform that enabled integration of multiple independently developed enterprise solutions to interoperate at scale.

Shriram holds a masters and Ph.D. in computer science from SUNY Buffalo.

Dolby: 72% Uptick in U.S. Consumer Home Entertainment Spending in 2020

U.S. consumers have increased their purchase and rental of home entertainment by 72% in 2020, according to a new global survey by Dolby Laboratories that illustrates a significant shift in consumer entertainment behavior.

Led by Gen Z and millennials, consumers are spending more than ever on entertainment, which is fueled by the desire for human connection, especially during the ongoing pandemic, according to Dolby. People are also willing to spend more on premium subscriptions in order to receive a better quality experience.

Dolby found spending on content has increased in the last six months, with millennials in the U.S. increasing spending by an average of 38%. Most global consumers have increased how much they spent on content since the start of the year, including 55% in France, 72% in the U.S., 94% in China, and 97% in India.

The survey, in partnership with Wakefield Research, polled 5,000 respondents from China, France, India, and the U.S. — examining consumption behavior, device buying decisions, and new habits being formed in the wake of this unprecedented year. With more time than ever before to watch and engage with entertainment, consumers are accelerating their interest in immersive content and new experiences.

With this increase in spending, consumers are willing to pay more for a premium subscription to receive enhanced audiovisual experiences, with 77% of total respondents indicating they would pay more for better picture or sound quality because it impacts how they connect with content. In fact, 64% of respondents stated they had upgraded at least one streaming service to a premium subscription within the past six months.

“Despite all the challenges of this past year, this study has illustrated the power of entertainment in bringing us together with those that are most important to us,” John Couling, SVP Commercial Partnerships at Dolby Laboratories, said in a statement.

Other survey findings include the fact that 86% of global respondents connected with family and friends virtually with home entertainment together over the last six months. This included activities like talking on the phone while watching the same content (45% of global respondents), texting while watching the same content (44%), video chatting while watching the same content (43%), as well as engaging in live chats while watching streaming videos (41%).

For a significant majority of people, within the past six months was the first time they have ever participated in virtual shared experiences while enjoying entertainment — with 87% of respondents noting this was their first time.

While plans to upgrade traditional home entertainment devices remain strong, consumers are also planning to upgrade their mobile viewing experience, which is fueled by a majority of consumers who used their smartphone, tablet, or PC as their primary device for consuming entertainment over the past few months.

About 82% of respondents plan to purchase a new device to upgrade their entertainment viewing experience in the next six months. Another 64% plan to purchase a device specifically to upgrade their living room entertainment experience (including a new TV, soundbar, home theater speakers, receiver, or streaming device).

Millennials are the most likely to make a living room upgrade at 73%, compared with 68% of Gen Xers, 58% of Gen Zers, and 50% of Boomers.
More than 4 in 5 (81%) of those who have paid to upgrade their streaming services to premium also plan to improve their living room entertainment experience.

While U.S. households have more devices than ever, the television still plays a huge role — particularly with older generations. This is true in every market, but particularly in the U.S., where 65% of Boomers say that television is their primary entertainment device; 52% of French Boomers say the same.

Meanwhile, 60% of total respondents used their smartphone, tablet, or PC as their primary device for entertainment over the past six months and 44% of total respondents indicated that they plan to upgrade their mobile device in the next six months to improve their viewing experience.

“Ultimately, we expect the desire for more human connection to continue in the future and immersive experiences can help fulfill this demand,” added John Couling, SVP  of commercial partnerships at Dolby Laboratories. “Just as entertainment drives cultural conversation, that conversation drives connection across the globe, and we are seeing connections grow stronger every day through elevated entertainment experiences.”