I’ve long held that the consumer home entertainment marketplace inevitably will wind up in a place that allows people to buy what amounts to a license for a movie, album or other content. That license would allow them to access what they’ve paid for at home, on the road, on their mobile devices or anywhere else.
Coming out of a recent industry conference comes word that Disney is moving forward with something just like that. Dubbed “Keychest” (Variety 10/21/09) the system would let consumers buy a “key” that would allow access to a movie that’s stored not on their hard drive or set-top box but on a remote server (I’m not going to say “in the clouds”) that they could then watch anywhere they wanted on any registered device.
The “Keychest” initiative is an independent program being initiated by Disney, who is not participating in a consortium of other studios that’s working toward a similar goal, albeit with different elements and goals.