IBM Launches e-Commerce Offering for Selling/Delivering Digital Media Assets
Thursday, August 02, 2001
SOMERS, N.Y.--Aug. 1, 2001-- IBM today announced a new e-commerce offering that allows media companies to sell and deliver digital assets directly to businesses and consumers via the Internet. Media companies face growing volumes of digital assets and the challenge of making those assets available online. Jupiter Media Metrix, Inc. estimates that the paid digital content market will grow to $5.7 billion by 2005*. As a result of the explosive growth of digital content, companies need to create, store, manage and distribute their assets through multiple channels, while ensuring appropriate levels of rights protection. IBM's new offering, WebSphere® Commerce Suite for Digital Media, is designed to help media companies streamline operations and generate new revenues by simplifying the process of distributing digital media assets online. The offering consists of the software and services necessary to create an e-commerce site for selling media assets, and addresses digital rights management and protection. The offering is built on IBM's award-winning software products, WebSphere Commerce Suite, IBM Content Manager and IBM Electronic Media Management System (EMMS). It is packaged with consulting services to help companies quickly establish an e-commerce site for digital media. IBM addresses the management of digital assets with two implementations: the base WebSphere Commerce Suite for Digital Media offering is intended for businesses that need to manage and distribute digital assets -- for both internal and e-commerce applications -- with a basic level of source identification and protection. For businesses such as publishing and music companies that require a higher level of rights protection, an expanded version of WebSphere Commerce Suite for Digital Media incorporates EMMS for secure distribution of digital assets. "With WebSphere Commerce Suite for Digital Media, companies can dramatically reduce the time it takes their customers to browse, select, purchase and download digital media via the Web,'' said Sandy Carter, vice president, e-commerce, IBM. "Users of digital media -- such as advertising agencies, publishing and entertainment companies and retailers -- will benefit from a whole new, streamlined process for obtaining digital media.'' Sekani, a global provider of moving images and advanced media asset management, supplies thousands of clips to premier advertising, media, entertainment and business customers. The company is using IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite for Digital Media to create an e-commerce site where customers can search, select, purchase and receive moving images instantly via the Web. "It's a win-win situation for us and for our customers,'' said Oscar Lugay, chief technology officer, Sekani. "Using WebSphere Commerce Suite for Digital Media, we can substantially reduce our sales cycle by instantly distributing digital assets on the Web. Our royalty-free product will be available 24/7 for our customers to browse and purchase online, and we'll be able to provide greater levels of customer service for our traditional product by significantly streamlining the process of searching, selecting, sharing and retrieving content.'' Among the innovative features of WebSphere Commerce Suite for Digital Media is a "lightbox'' function that allows customers to select and preview images online. Lightboxes can be accessed by multiple users so that they can view selected images simultaneously from different locations, creating a team collaboration environment. An online chat feature allows users to discuss the contents of the lightbox and add or delete images before finalizing the purchase.