India is as important a market as China for Dolby in APAC region: Changhong Guo

Dolby Laboratories, the American company that used to specialise in audio noise reduction and audio encoding/compression, was founded in 1965 by Ray Dolby and since its inception has been a leader in the sound technology space.

The sound technology giant entered the Asian market soon after being a leader in the North and South American and European markets and has since never looked back. The company launched various sound technologies for theatrical film releases and later went onto conquer the home system market as well based on the learnings from its operational methods in the cinema halls.

Changhong recently had the opportunity to chat with Dolby Laboratories senior director – global field marketing – APAC, Changhong Guo to better understand Dolby’s vision for the Asia pacific region and where does India figure in Dolby’s plans for this region.

Guo is the leader of the Marketing for Dolby Laboratories in Asia Pacific, which covers Greater China, Korea, India, South East Asia (including Australia); where he is responsible for defining and driving the regional marketing strategy in conjunction with the global marketing team in San Francisco headquarters and to help increase sales revenue from GC customers by providing marketing support to the regional Sales team and taking part in the global Product Marketing activities.

As the functional head for the team that has sales offices in Taipei, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing, Guo is responsible for leading the regional product marketing team, Marcom team, PR team, of partner marketing managers, marcom managers, PR managers, and support staff, in establishing and developing marketing strategy driving the relationships with the company’s business partners, and implementing successful marketing campaigns in all Consumer Market segments. He also looks after the active participation of Dolby in Market Segment activities to contribute to the product strategy activities worldwide.


How has your experience been with Dolby and where have you seen the brand grow?

I have been in Dolby for over 6 years now and in my current role I am primarily in-charge for the entire marketing activities in the Asia Pacific region. Over the last few years I have witnessed some great technology coming out from Dolby, which include: Dolby Digital plus for sound and broadcast, Dolby Atmos for cinema goes audience.

Dolby has always been a leader in the audio space since its inception and these days we are widening our horizons from being an audio leader to getting into imaging and video related technology as well. Dolby Vision technology that recently released in some markets is a step towards making our mark in that realm of entertainment as well. And we not only want to stay relevant for the theatre and movie going community but also for the broadcast segment. These are only few of the things which we are dealing with at the marketplace currently. We have also expanded our audio technology to improve the voice experience and are working closely with British Telecom to roll out our new voice technology globally, which will allow a never before experience in conference calling.

Dolby Atmos is the biggest property that we have currently and it has truly revolutionised the theatre experience for the average moviegoer, and now Dolby Atmos will be made available for the home entertainment segment as well. And beyond all that very soon you will be seeing Dolby on your mobile phones, so these are truly interesting times for Dolby Laboratories.


When you look at APAC as a region, where do you see India positioned in that particular segment?

From the consumer point of view India is a very big market for Dolby and very similar to China in more ways than one; however China and India have one major differentiating factor that China is not just the consuming market but majority of the production is conducted here as well.

From my experience I have seen that Dolby invests a lot for research, development and engineering in a lot of new things to create new technology, with the sole purpose of bringing a more and more immersive experience to the consumers through Dolby products.

How is Dolby educating people about sound in general?

From the education point of view, we look at it in two layers. One is to educate our partners, as we want our partners to work closely with Dolby and not only convince them but also educate them to work with us and make sure that they understand what the technology is and how can it bring consumers a different experience with the help of our partners.

On the other side we have another layer in which we put lot of efforts to educate consumers.  Dolby works with partners on the retail side to give consumers the right experience using Dolby technology in the retail side. Dolby will be consistently conducting online training through the virtual Dolby institute for moviegoers and audio experts to let them experience Dolby and work with us or use our products.


In terms of sound, there was 5.1 surround, there was 7.1 surround and then Dolby Atmos, so what next?

There must be something next (smiles). We are gearing up to not just being leaders in the sound space but also focus a lot more on the visual aspect as well. Atmos literally changed the way movies are experienced in theatres and it will take certain time to take Atmos everywhere, which will then be followed by other interesting stuff coming up.

When the first Dolby Atmos movie hit screens globally in the form of Disney’s Brave (2012), everyone was overjoyed to experience Atmos. Sound is something that is medium agnostic and can be experienced irrespective of the movie being an animation or live action feature film, to up that we have a few products in the pipeline and hopefully we will be able to get the next big thing for the consumers.