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DLNA Technocrats Lack Marketing Programs

The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) has made good progress in promoting the emergence of an ecosystem of compatible connected media devices, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

But their report entitled "Connected Media Devices: DLNA Needs Marketing Investment to Justify Vendor Support," also highlights the danger that technical progress is not being matched by marketing initiatives aimed at promoting the benefits of the technology to end users.

Strategy Analytics notes that only a fraction of DLNA-compliant devices are actively labeled or marketed as such, and some industry players privately express frustration at progress on these issues. Therefore, perhaps the group is in need of new executive leadership.

"Major technology vendors such as Nokia, Sony, HP, Philips and Intel are now offering devices that will share media such as music and digital photos with impressive ease of use and slickness," notes Peter King, Connected Home Devices service director. "Although Sony actively promotes DLNA certification in its domestic market, there is little sign elsewhere in the world that DLNA means anything to anyone outside the vendor community."

"Promoting the benefits of DLNA to consumers is the next, and most challenging, step in this long term endeavor," says David Mercer, VP, Digital Consumer Practice. "A strong marketing program is now vital to ensure that DLNA's many industry supporters can begin to recoup their significant investments in interoperability verification and certification procedures."

Clearly, this issue is not unique to the DLNA efforts, since many technology standards organizations involved in the digital home space are driven by technocrats that lack the marketing expertise to further their cause -- beyond the small group of people who regularly attend their committee meetings.

Regardless, the biggest loss may be for all those mainstream consumers that seek to find configurable and usable home networking products. The pent-up demand is truly significant.

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