Hollywood’s UltraViolet initiative might not have gotten off to a great start, with some critical reaction to its initial launch. But things are looking up, as more companies are joining in and adding new ways of accessing that content.
Not all news about UltraViolet is bad news. During a panel discussion Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show, UltraViolet GM Mark Teitell said that 750,000 household accounts have signed up for UltraViolet, which he believes translates into more than a million individual accounts. And the DECE expects to have hundreds of titles and hundreds and millions of UltraViolet-enabled discs out in the market.
Furthermore, Amazon and Samsung announced that they are adding some more weight behind the initiative. Amazon, for one, is joining the initiative and will soon enable digital purchases through its streaming video service. Bill Carr, Amazon’s vice president of Movies and Music, said that the company had signed a deal with one of the Hollywood studios for electronic sell-through (EST) rights that also include UltraViolet rights. That means consumers who buy that studio’s titles will be able to access those titles across multiple services and devices.
Samsung also announced new features to its Blu-ray disc players that will quickly enable consumers to add their existing DVDs to the service. With a disc-to-digital function in their Blu-ray players, consumers can with a few clicks add discs that they’ve already purchased to their UltraViolet digital rights locker.
There is a catch, of course: Consumers will have to pay a “nominal fee” to re-purchase the digital version of that title. But it does open up the possibility for consumers to have digital copies without having to pay full price for them.
The studios are hoping that getting new partners on board and providing more capabilities for adding titles to their digital libraries will give consumers more reason to own content, rather than renting it or accessing it through subscription services like Netflix.