(The Hollywood Reporter) — Larry Jacobson has been appointed to the newly created position of CEO at Cdigix, the broadband content distributor that specializes in colleges. He had been president of digital media services and software company RealNetworks.
Company founder Brett Goldberg will continue to lead the business development, programming and industry-relations aspects of the business in the newly-created position of executive VP.
Jacobson was with RealNetworks from 2001-2004. Before that, he was president/COO of Ticketmaster Corp. He also was president of Fox Television Network, having held other executive positions during his nine years at Fox.
More than 30 campuses have contracts with Cdigix to provide access to legal digital music, film, television and educational-content services. Jacobson said one of his first priorities will be to continue expansion to more educational establishments. He also plans on increasing the amount of available content while developing new and mutually beneficial relationships with studios and other creators.
“Colleges have massive high-speed networks and students who use their computers instead of televisions or stereos,” Jacobson said. “This group is a huge opportunity — and a huge problem — for the content industry.”
Jacobson believes that movie and television companies need to learn from what the music industry is achieving. “If digital music didn’t exist, people today wouldn’t have as much time in their lives for music,” he said. “Also, students need to be offered legitimate services now so they can be habituated into it for when they have budgets.”
Cdigix has licensing deals with Buena Vista Pay TV and Turner Broadcasting System, among others. It offers full-length feature films, television shows, interviews and news specials via Cdigex’s secure broadband video-on-demand service, which is distributed over a local area network.
Students can download a movie in less than five minutes, Jacobson said. Extending this to educational content makes it possible for professors to assign audio-visual material. For entertainment companies, audience data collection and targeted marketing campaigns become more useful and attractive.