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UltraViolet Registered Accounts Top 20 Million

15 Dec, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

UltraViolet, the industry-backed cloud-based movie access platform, is ending 2014 with more than 20 million registered accounts — up 33% from 15 million registered accounts in 2013, according to the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem. More than 15% of U.S. households use UltraViolet.

The platform, which launched in 2011 as a conduit to drive sales of physical and digital media, upped registered accounts by 1 million since the end of September. It ended the year with more than 100 million registered rights on a portfolio of more 14,500 UV-compatible movies and TV shows.

Notable growth areas included Europe, where UV officially launched in Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. The platform, which is available in 13 countries, has the most international accounts in the United Kingdom, which ended 2013 with more than 1.5 million accounts.

In October, Blinkbox, the electronic-sellthrough movie and TV show platform owned by British supermarket chain Tesco, announced it was selling movies with UltraViolet functionality — the first official U.K. vendor for the cloud-based digital locker.

Earlier this month, The NPD Group said consumer awareness of UltraViolet in the United States reached 44% in 2014. About one-third of consumers said they know what UV is, and when asked, consumers cited packaging of DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies as the most influential sources 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.

Indeed, more than 29% of respondents said they are collecting more content due to having an UltraViolet account.

“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 Dec. 6 in a statement.

The NPD advocates content providers and retailers work together to facilitate greater 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.

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