From focusing towards home appliances to entering the gaming industry, Dolby Laboratories have adapted to the new normal. In conversation with BrandWagon Online, Ashim Mathur, senior regional director, Emerging Markets, Dolby Laboratories, talks about the company’s strategy in the new normal. (edited excerpts)
How does your business model work?
We divide the entire content ecosystem into three big buckets or three big pillars, starting with content creation. We work very closely with the people who make content, whether it is movie makers, OTT serials, originals, or music. Furthermore, we work with directors, the sound directors, the colorist, the mixing engineers to make sure that the content is created using Dolby technologies. The next step is content distribution, for this we collaborate with the pay TV operators, set-top-box companies and OTT services, to make sure that the content which is created is then moved to the next level, which is the second pillar in this whole chain. The third pillar is the consumer end, which is all home devices. This is our licensing model where we work with consumer original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as LG, Samsung, Sony as well as with handset manufacturers. Overall, we work with all the five screens, which is the cinema screen, the TV screen, the tablet, smartphone, and PC.
What was the shift in business you saw? And subsequently, to what extent business was impacted adversely?
Consumption of content witnessed a shift last year as the living room experiences went up. People were constrained in their homes and were experiencing content at home through their smartphones or the televisions. So we saw an upsurge in people viewing more and more content at home. The upsurge was from both sides, on one hand there was more and more content which was created. On the experience side we saw many devices being launched by the leading OEMs with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. We observed a definite growth in the living room experience and witnessed an uptake in terms of sales of televisions, sound bars and even smartphones equipped with Dolby. Furthermore, we’ve had our existing and new television partners launch more screen sizes in order to provide more options to the consumers.
With cinema theatres being closed for over seven months, slow down in the business has adversely affected the revenue. However, the upsurge in sales of televisions, sound bars and smartphones with Dolby technologies have really helped in balancing the scales for us. We expect that the momentum which has now come up in the living room and on the go experiences to continue. We expect all these cylinders firing together in conjunction in 2021.
Does your business plan also include the gaming industry?
We are focusing a lot on gaming this year. Our technologies are available in multiple numbers of games which are available on PC and on consoles. Recently, we partnered with Xbox to launch a new series with Dolby technologies. Going forward, gaming is going to continue to be one of our focus areas.
How do you see this market evolving in 2021?
We will have two big focus points in 2021. Our first big focus will be towards making sure that content is available in Dolby. For this, we expect that momentum to continue to have more and more content being created. From local originals, music to new online games, we expect more content being created in Dolby technologies moving forward. On the devices side, I think there is great momentum as we have seen more devices, televisions, soundbars, computers, and smartphones with Dolby technologies being launched, and our partners expanding their product range with more models. And I think that’s that’s how we expect the next year to continue so that people can really enjoy the marriage of great content with the best device.