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Sony Bows UltraViolet Digital Movie Store

11 Dec, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Studio says more than 7 million UltraViolet accounts have been opened industrywide, with consumer awareness above 50%

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Dec. 11 launched an online shopping website whereby consumers through the holidays can purchase, wrap and send digital movies with UltraViolet functionality.

Called Sony Pictures Gift Store, the site allows shoppers to purchase and gift any of the nearly 500 UltraViolet Sony digital movies.

UltraViolet is the industry initiative designed to jumpstart sellthrough of physical and digital movies, which can be stored by consumers in a cloud-based locker for playback on compatible electronics devices.

Compatible with tablets and computers with touch interfaces, the Sony Gift Store represents the first studio effort enabling online gift recipients to see and hear decorative digital ribbon and wrapping paper "tear off," revealing an UltraViolet digital movie selected from a collection of Sony Pictures titles.

The virtual gift wrapping (and unwrapping) is accomplished through a partnership with Movie eWrap, an online service that allows gift buyers and recipients to exchange digital purchases with customized gift wrapping and accompanying sound effects.

UltraViolet titles available for digital gifting include Lawrence of Arabia, The Amazing Spider-Man, Men in Black 3 and Arthur Christmas, among others.  The Sony Pictures Gift Store also features "gift-finder" software, which sources the best titles to give any friend or family member based on a combination of criteria selected such as release date, genre and box-office performance.

“We need to increase the value proposition [of digital acquisitions] for consumers,” said Lexine Wong, SVP, worldwide marketing, SPHE. "With Movie eWrap we thought it was a great way to make digital gift giving fun and not just have the recipient click on a link.”

Wong said the Gift Store is not intended to jumpstart electronic sellthough or replace physical discs. Instead, she said launching the platform with Movie eWrap affords holiday consumers a last minute and more personalized e-commerce transaction.

“It’s really a cool thing in the digital world,” Wong said.

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