People can’t see ultraviolet light, and many also have overlooked some recent developments at the entertainment industry’s digital locker service called UltraViolet. The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem operation, launched in late 2011, today spotlighted a few signs of progress — including the fact that more than 20 million U.S. consumers now have UltraViolet accounts, enabling them to stream videos that they also buy on DVDs and Blu-ray discs or electronic sellthrough. That’s up from 15 million this time last year.
DECE says the user base should continue to grow, even though sales of physical discs have been declining:
- HBO recently joined as content provider, adding series including Game Of Thrones, though some of its shows were available earlier via Warner Bros. UltaViolet now has 13 studios including virtually every major movie and TV producer except Disney and MGM. In February Disney introduced an alternative service, Disney Movies Anywhere, in partnership with Apple’s iTunes.
- UltraViolet is about to be offered in Japan, following the recent addition of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. In addition to the U.S., the service is also available in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
- And 17 retailers now support UltraViolet, though the list still doesn’t include e-retail giants Amazon and Google. Verizon FiOS, UK’s Tesco (Blinkbox) and Sainsbury’s are among the recent additions.
The organization says it is encouraged to see some theaters and studios bundle UltraViolet rights with movie tickets for releases including Transformers: Age Of Extinction, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Dolphin Tale 2. In addition, consumer awareness and satisfaction have improved significantly since last year. About 44% of consumers either have heard of UltraViolet or recognized the logo, up from 35% last year, The NPD Group reported this month. And satisfaction with the service — which many people initially found to be quirky and complicated — is up to 91% from 83%.