Entertainment Group Rebrands for the Streaming Age

The one-time Entertainment Merchants Association, now called OTT.X, moved to its new niche after seeing major success with a series of recent events. The group dates to the days of home video rentals.

If you’re blanking on the last time you rented a movie at a video store or bought a DVD, the industry group that represents that ecosystem is giving a fresh face to a shifting field.

Last week, the Entertainment Merchants Association, which was founded as the Video Software Dealers Association back in 1984 and originally supported tape rental stores, announced it would rebrand to OTT.X and shift its focus to “over the top,” or streaming media accessed through the internet, rather than over cable signals. In a news release, the association notes that this situation reflects the broader shift in the market.

“The new vision positions the organization to more broadly support the business of bringing audio-visual entertainment to the consumer through all OTT means,” OTT.X said, including transactional video on demand (TVOD), subscription video on demand (SVOD), and advertising-based video on demand (AVOD).

The association made its shift in response to a series of events it held in recent months that attracted a new audience to the trade group: the OTT_X Market and Conference in July and the OTT_X @ Pipeline event in September. Mark Fisher, the president and CEO of  OTT.X, noted in the release that the association would take its deep knowledge of the field and work to focus it on this new audience, including by developing new supply chain standards, creating roundtable discussions on relevant industry details, and building out platforms for members to collaborate on.

“We are excited about the opportunity to leverage the experience and the community that we’ve built into supporting the growing segments of SVOD and AVOD,” Fisher said.

Fandango Home Entertainment Vice President Cameron Douglas, the chairman of OTT.X, agreed, noting that there were many new types of companies serving this ecosystem.

“There are so many new and emerging channels and networks looking to collaborate with their peers in building a more effective ecosystem,” Douglas stated in the release.

It may not be where the association started, but it’s a move that fully embraces where the field is going.

(Tero Vesalainen/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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