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UltraViolet Consumer Awareness Tops 44%

6 Dec, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

While 9% more consumers have heard of the cloud-based content access platform compared with a year ago, many say improvements are needed

More people have heard of UltraViolet, the industry-backed cloud-based movie access platform, with consumer awareness reaching 44% in 2014, according to The NPD Group.

About one-third of consumers said they know what UltraViolet is, and when asked, consumers cited the outside packaging of DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies as the most influential source for facilitating awareness, according to two surveys. One survey involved 8,802 respondents familiar with UltraViolet conducted in August. Other data came from 9,983 respondents — most of whom were not UV registered.

UV, which launched in 2011, was intended to spark the movie retail business model by melding digital content with packaged media via cloud-based access. Discs with UV compatibility enable users to access a digital copy through connected devices.

“As awareness and satisfaction increases, there is clearly a segment of consumers who value the proposition that UV offers: the opportunity to keep a library as backup, have an access hub for content that is stored and may be viewed from a variety of traditional and mobile devices, and access TV and movie content acquired from a variety of retailers,” Christopher Coby, industry analyst of entertainment for NPD, said in a statement.

While most respondents said they are satisfied with UV, there remain aspects of the service that could be improved. Specifically, the need to visit multiple websites to redeem disc-based codes and the necessity of multiple logins spearhead complaints. Among those who found the disc code redemption process challenging, a lack of clarity in how to link user content libraries to redemption websites persists.

Respondents said greater user support and a universal redemption site would go far to draw in mainstream consumers.

The NPD advocates content providers and retailers work together to facilitate consumer awareness around what UV offers. The research firm said this would drive further user trials and heighten satisfaction among current UltraViolet users, many of whom buy and stream video consistently.

Walmart in October launched “InstaWatch,” which enables a consumer of a DVD or Blu-ray Disc movie purchased at Walmart to scan the store receipt through a special app on a mobile phone to access (or watch) the compatible digital file via Vudu.com.

"UV usage is still in its early stages, and, as with any new technology, there are challenges, but there is also opportunity to grow and improve the service,” Coby said.

There were more than 19 million UV registered accounts at the end of September.

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