Red Bee Media has joined the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), bringing with it a set of international broadcasting and advertising clients.

The problem DECE aims to address is the lack of portability of digital content, the result of too many playback technologies, some of them proprietary, that will not work with each other. DECE aims to establish an open market for digital content distribution.

The group, which includes several major MSOs, CableLabs, Hollywood studios, DRM specialists and device manufacturers, has agreed on a common file format, has set up a “rights locker” for authentication (Neustar was selected to run this cloud-based service) and has approved five DRM systems that will be compatible.

The companies involved surmise that the ongoing erosion in sales of digital content is tied with consumer frustration with their inability to play the digital content they purchase on any and all of their media players.

Having an open market for content distribution could also create an opportunity to compete with Apple, which currently dominates the digital download business, at least on the music side.

Red Bee represents broadcasters and advertisers across TV, Web and mobile such as Discovery International, BBC, Channel 4, Virgin Media, UKTV, Nike, Canal+, Lonely Planet and Action Aid.

Brian Levy, Red Bee’s CTO, said: “Red Bee Media, with our heritage of innovation, are proud to join DECE and to play our part in this important industry body to deliver next-generation cross-device content services to the customer. The ‘buy once, play anywhere’ ambition is a real priority for Red Bee Media as we work toward enabling our clients to realize the full commercial value of their content.”

DECE members include: Adobe, Alcatel-Lucent, Ascent Media Group, Best Buy, Blueprint Digital, CableLabs, Catch Media, Cisco, Comcast, Cox Communications, Deluxe Digital, DivX, Dolby Laboratories, DTS, ExtendMedia, Fox Entertainment Group, HP, Intel, Irdeto, Liberty Global, Lionsgate, Microsoft, MOD Systems, Motorola, Movie Labs, Nagravision, NBC Universal, Netflix, Neustar, Nokia, Panasonic, Paramount Pictures, Philips, RIAA, Rovi, Roxio CinemaNow, Samsung Electronics, Secure Path, Sony, SwitchNAP, Tesco, Thomson, Toshiba, Verimatrix, VeriSign, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Widevine Technologies and Zoran.

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