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PRICE WATERHOUSE LAUNCHES TECHNOLOGY FORECAST AT GLOBAL CONVERGENCE SUMMIT

LONDON, June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- "...In the media business, we're moving - albeit gradually - from a corner store to a supermarket mentality. Whereas, once, consumers used to pop over to the store for a 'loaf of bread and some milk,' today they're looking for rye or seven grain or sour dough. The milk has to be skim or 2 per cent or strawberry. Choices will proliferate as far, and as fast, as consumer appetites demand."
 Ed Horowitz, Senior Vice President, Viacom Inc.


"...Unless we understand how our consumers think and feel and what motivates them, we cannot communicate with them effectively. Generation X (a very unusual generation of 18-29 year olds - the first digital generation) have created their own media community which has its own texture and vocabulary..." Carol Samms, Senior Vice President, Research, McCann-Erickson Europe

"...At no other period in history has the pace of change been so phenomenal. Because the stakes in the EMC arena are staggeringly high, our objective is to help our clients minimize the odds."
 Kevin Carton, Chairman, Price Waterhouse Global EMC Group


These are just some of the views expressed today at a round-table summit on the convergence of the entertainment, media and communications industries. Hosted by leading business adviser, Price Waterhouse, the London summit brought together some of the world's most active and aggressive convergence players, for an in-depth discussion moderated by Sir David Frost.

Guest speakers at the summit included Ed Horowitz, senior vice president of Viacom Inc., Dr. Hagen Hultzsche, from the management board of Deutsche Telekom, and Carol Samms, senior vice president, research, of McCann-Erickson Europe. Following their presentations, Sir David led a discussion focusing on such issues as the outlook for industry convergencey, privatization strategies in the telecommunications sector, the changing value of content and opportunities in the global market.

Launch of the EMC Technology Forecast

"Technology itself represents change. The pace of technological change is dizzying. For the EMC visionary, this opportunity represents a virtually clean canvas on which to paint a tremendously exciting future."
 Kevin Carton, Chairman, Price Waterhouse Global EMC Group


At the London summit today, Price Waterhouse introduced its EMC Technology Forecast, the first-ever exploration of the status, viability and outlook for enabling technologies which are revolutionizing the delivery of EMC products.

The forecast contains predictions for convergence developments by the year 2000, among them:

-- By 1998, most content production will be digital - with the exception of motion pictures, which will continue to use celluloid film because of its high degree of control over images.

-- Commercial introductions of interactive television will appear in the next few years. However, due to the amount of enabling work that remains, widespread availability and adoption of interactive television will not happen before 2000.

-- Satellite distribution of entertainment could convert completely to compressed digital transmission within the next few years.

-- The demand for multimedia contents will grow rapidly, but so will the supply of artists and producers - the price for high-quality material will remain high.

-- Video servers on aircraft will be in commercial, non-test usage by the end of 1995.

-- With the rise of new fee-based and advertising-supported business models, the Internet will evolve from a place where information is freely given away.

-- Doing business on the information superhighway will force companies to develop and implement new models, some still unformulated, for interacting with consumers and with one another.

-- As the integration of telephone and cable television services increases, each entity will borrow from the other. As a result, any given neighborhood will soon boast two providers of full-service entertainment, media and communications services.

-- Program distribution via satellite in Latin America and Asia is likely to migrate almost completely to digital by the end of the decade.

"When companies in the fast-moving entertainment, media and communications industries look at their horoscope, it usually reads: 'Confusion and uncertainty today and for the foreseeable future'", says Paul Goodstat, managing partner of Management Consulting Services for Price Waterhouse's EMC Group. The EMC Technology Forecast will be an important guide for executives, foreshadowing events that will shape these industries during the coming years.

Long known around the world for providing tax, audit and management consultancy services to blue-chip companies, Price Waterhouse last year merged its entertainment, media and communications groups into a Global EMC Practice to deliver a new breed of management consultants who are counseling clients to the point of convergence and beyond.

Price Waterhouse is committed to meeting the demand from its fast- moving clients, companies which themselves are having to restructure in order to survive in an industry moving at breakneck pace. Among the issues which Price Waterhouse helps its clients to understand and to solve are:

-- leveraging existing content into new products for new audiences

-- managing content and customers

-- assessing the potential of new markets, customer segments, products and channels, and how to take best advantage of new opportunities

-- leveraging multimedia technology for business applications

-- determining the impact of, and best responses to, global regulatory change

-- creating and enhancing the infrastructure needed to support high-volume interactive services, and

-- identifying and evaluating opportunities for strategic alliances and acquisitions for content, distribution and market access.

The current worldwide clients of Price Waterhouse include: Carlton Communications, Sony, Viacom, The Walt Disney Company, MCA, Reuters, Thomson Corporation, Young and Rubicam, Paramount, MCI, Deutsche Telekom, Telstra, Cable and Wireless and Tele Danmark.

Price Waterhouse is committed to providing the ideas, information and advice that will help clients make better decisions. It is a global network of firms, practicing in 117 countries and territories with almost 50,000 professionals.
 -0- 6/15/95


/NOTE TO EDITORS: For copies of the EMC Technology Forecast call CONTACT below./

/CONTACT: Felicity O'Brien or Hugh McKenna of Ketchum PR, London +44-171-379-3404/

CO: Price Waterhouse ST: IN: FIN SU:

DC -- NY008 -- 5897 06/15/95 03:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 15, 1995
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