Studios Offering Free UltraViolet Movies With CE Purchases8 Jan, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey, Erik Gruenwedel
LAS VEGAS — Home entertainment studios together with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group Jan. 8 announced a promotion whereby consumers buying a select Internet-connected Blu-ray Disc player or television receive up to 10 free movies with UltraViolet functionality.
The promotion, which begins later this year and includes five free movies with a Blu-ray player purchase and 10 titles with a TV, features movies from Lionsgate, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment or Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
The announcement was made during the opening keynote of the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show, delivered by Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association. He was joined by the home entertainment presidents of several studios behind UltraViolet, including Ron Sanders (Warner), David Bishop (Sony Pictures), Mike Dunn (Fox), Craig Kornblau (Universal) and Steve Beeks (Lionsgate).
Ultraviolet is the industry-backed initiative (with the exception of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment) designed to encourage sellthrough of physical and digital movies by offering a digital files stored in a cloud-based locker.
“UltraViolet provides consumers with the freedom to enjoy the content they own no matter where or how they purchased it,” said Ron Sanders, president of the DEG board of directors and president of Warner Home Video. “Our partnership with the consumer electronics manufacturers is great for both of our industries and especially for the consumer.”
Participating consumer electronics manufacturers in the UltraViolet promotion include LG Electronics, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony Electronics, Toshiba and Vizio. Participating service providers include Best Buy’s CinemaNow, Flixster.com, Nook Video and Walmart’s Vudu.com.
UltraViolet is currently available in retail locations across the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada bundled with DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, and with UltraViolet digital sellthrough and disc-to-digital options also available via select U.S. retailers.
UltraViolet household accounts in the U.S. recently surpassed 9 million registrations, and there are currently more than 8,500 UltraViolet-enabled titles. The technology also continues to broaden its reach internationally, with 2013 UltraViolet launches expected in Australia, France, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand.
“It is terrific to see leading companies in content and hardware come together and agree on a standard allowing more content, more options and more products to consumers,” Shapiro said. “We are pleased to provide the global spotlight of CES to support this major announcement. This new promotional effort exemplifies the spirit of the CES as the home for introducing exciting new innovations and cross-industry partnerships to the world.”
He called the collaboration between the consumer electronics and home entertainment industries promising.
“Sometimes we disagree, but sometimes we come together,” he said.
Sanders also expressed excitement regarding UltraViolet’s new in-home disc-to-digital initiatives, which allow disc owners to make UltraViolet-enabled copies of their content using computers at home. Walmart (Vudu) and Best Buy (CinemaNow) currently offer disc-to-digital services.
“We’re extremely optimistic about in-home disc to digital,” Sanders said. “We believe the connected benefits will lead to exponential growth.”