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Mark Cuban: UltraViolet a ‘Great Concept, but…’

11 Jun, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Multimedia entrepreneur Mark Cuban says movie studios have the right idea — but wrong implementation — with UltraViolet, the cloud-based digital movie locker platform.

Speaking June 10 at the Producers Guild of America’s Produced By Conference in Los Angeles, Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks, said the premise of allowing consumers to store purchased movies in the cloud is complicated by the multifaceted steps required to connect and access content.

Cuban owns numerous media companies, including HDNet.com, Magnolia Pictures, Landmark Theaters and Flingo — the latter enabling Web or mobile videos to stream directly to the TV. Cuban was one of the first content owners to offer movies on premium video-on-demand ahead of and day-and-date with theatrical releases.

As reported by Deadline.com, the billionaire said the studios could do well with UltraViolet by emulating Netflix’s user interface, simplicity and recommendation software.

“Great concept, but [UltraViolet] won’t work because it’s too much hassle,” Cuban said. “I don’t like the implementation. They’re trying to solve one hassle but created more. When big studios realize how simple it all should be, they can out-Netflix Netflix.”

The outspoken entrepreneur apparently provided few details how Hollywood might further streamline the UltraViolet user experience, among other issues.

Not surprisingly, Cuban praised Netflix for introducing a new syndication business model. Namely, a distribution channel that pays upfront (instead of consignment) and thereby minimizes the financial risk to content holders.

“By signing deals with Netflix that create a definitive amount of cash, whether it does well or not, the economics changed dramatically,” he said. “This makes TV much more stable, and there will be a ripple effect for online content.”

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