Six Questions: Mark Teitell, GM of Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem/UltraViolet15 Apr, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey
Mark Teitell, GM of UltraViolet’s Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), sees a larger marketing push for UltraViolet around the corner and promises more transparency this year regarding the number of UltraViolet titles redeemed by the 12 million-plus UltraViolet accounts.
Teitell offered those tidbits and more during a Q&A session with Home Media Magazine, with the questions suggested by attendees of the magazine’s recent UltraViolet presentation.
• Can we offer consumers an update on the status of UltraViolet’s common file format?
Teitell: UltraViolet Common File Format (CFF) makes download functionality consistent across all UltraViolet retailers and service providers. It empowers consumersto transfer or copy downloaded files on any UltraViolet-compliant device or app, without re-downloading or using bandwidth. DECE, the industry consortium behind UltraViolet, is currently in a beta and interoperability testing stage for CFF deployments, and CFF is expected to become available in the United States in late 2013.
• How close are we to a traditional multi-system operator (MSO) or satellite player authenticating an UltraViolet storefront?
Teitell: The door is always open for any of these companies to launch UltraViolet. What we can say is that several leading MSOs, including Comcast, Cox Communications, Liberty Global and Rogers, are members of DECE. Additionally, Sky in the United Kingdom is a DECE member, and several leading IPTV service providers have become part of DECE: Verizon, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom.
• There are a few major online retailers who are not on board with UltraViolet yet: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Xbox Video Store. Can you comment on them?
Teitell: The door is always open for any of these companies to launch UltraViolet. We continue to talk to a variety of companies we can’t name at this time about their future involvement. Regarding Apple, the most important thing from the standpoint of the consumer is that UltraViolet does work on iPads and iPhones via third-party apps.
• Can you update consumers on the marketing and outreach efforts for UltraViolet, including informing consumers what’s available for the service in advance of street date?
Teitell: Marketing so far has been mainly at point-of-sale and via title-related advertising. But larger, standalone campaigns are coming, including broadcast, print, digital and social campaigns and a bold “Get Connected” promotion between the consumer electronics industry and Hollywood announced at CES.
Additionally, we expect point-of-sale marketing (in-store and online) to become an increasingly prominent part of how consumers become aware of and learn about UltraViolet. With retailers, such as Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and others, recently launching UltraViolet (in addition to Walmart/Vudu), this is a trend we believe is already underway.
• Can you walk us through how in-home disc-to-digital is working for UltraViolet?
Teitell: In-home disc-to-digital is currently available through Walmart/Vudu, Best Buy/CinemaNow and Flixster (beta). Generally, software apps on CE devices and PCs/Macs recognize a disc and walk the consumer through a short series of in-home steps to obtain an UltraViolet right.
• Is there a role for UV with special interest titles, and are we seeing growing UltraViolet support for TV content?
Teitell: For specifics on special interest DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, you will need to contact the individual studios. We anticipate that content aggregators — who today often represent such low-volume content into the physical and EST distribution markets — will become part of the UltraViolet ecosystem soon.
Regarding TV, over the past few months, we have seen an increase in the number of TV shows available for UltraViolet. And we expect a substantial continued flow of TV content into the UltraViolet ecosystem.